Watchdog group hits promotional reviews masquerading as blogs

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New York—The National Advertising Review Council, which oversees ethical standards in the advertising industry, has for the first time addressed blogging that appears to be independent but which in fact promotes commercial interests.

The group, whose partners include the Association of National Advertisers, American Association of Advertising Agencies and Direct Marketing Association, found that several companies selling dietary supplements had posted blogs purportedly offering independent product reviews and testimonials, without disclosing that they owned the reviewed products and offered them for sale on their Web sites.

The group called for clear disclosure statements if product reviews are being paid for.

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