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IAB slams new FTC blogger rule as possibly unconstitutional

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New York—The Interactive Advertising Bureau has come out strongly against a new Federal Trade Commission rule requiring bloggers to disclose their financial or other affiliations with the products they endorse or review.

In a letter sent Thursday to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, IAB President-CEO Randall Rothenberg urged the FTC to withdraw its new rule, saying it unfairly targets online media for practices long engaged in by offline media. Rothenberg called this difference “constitutionally dubious.”

The new FTC guidelines, issued Oct. 5 and set to become effective Dec. 1, require that bloggers who receive free products to review must disclose that fact. Rothenberg said reviewers in traditional media have long received products for review with no disclosure requirement.

“What concerns us the most in these revisions is that the Internet, the cheapest, most widely accessible communications medium ever invented, would have less freedom than other media,” Rothenberg said in his letter.

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