How Many FTC Violations Can I Cram Into One Post?

Rules So Silly, Only Option Is Laughter

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This space is typically meant for humor (or attempts at such), so let's all point in the FTC's general direction and laugh and laugh at their ridiculous rules for blogging disclosure. As it says in the Ad Age editorial on the subject: The new FTC guidelines requiring bloggers to clearly disclose any "material connection" to an advertiser are a sublimely ridiculous example of government hubris, hypocrisy and overreach.

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Question the experts live at our 'Hot Topic: The Skinny on the FTC's Endorsements and Testimonials Guidelines' webcast on November 3.

Riddle me this: Why goes GrannyBlogger or whatever have to disclose that Yarn 'n' Things gave her a free basket of crafts and Oprah can cause riots by giving away millions worth of KFC Grilled Chicken and Pontiacs and then claim with a straight face she just did it out of the kindness of her heart? Especially considering a) Oprah's reach and power b) KFC -- grilled or fried -- has nothing on Popeye's and c) Hey, what's up with Pontiac, again? (Note to FTC: I wasn't paid by David Letterman, Popeye's or Ford for the previous commentary.)

If you're too upset to laugh about it and just want to know what it means for your business, we try to answer those questions here. We also have pro and con takes on the rules here (pro) and here (con).

Last night I was a guest on Bob Knorpp's BeanCast -- along with John Wall, Ask Wappling and Alan Wolk -- and we talked a bit about this. Surprisingly, I seemed to be the most opposed to the rules. A couple of the new-media folks seemed to feel that it showed this corner of the media world is growing up. If that's growing up, new media better hold on to its childhood as long as it can.

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