The blog world is filled with horror stories of bloggers endorsing products, only to be exposed later on as a paid-endorser. Not exactly the positive coverage companies originally intended to create. In fact, the practice became so widespread the FTC stepped in last year with rules to govern any blog, Twitter or other social media posts you make in support of a product or service:
- Disclose when you are being compensated–whether you are being paid for the endorsement and/or have been given a free sample of the product (traditionally known as “not-for-resale” copies).
- Be truthful in your statements…and make sure they can be substantiated.
- Speak from actual experience–meaning you can’t just regurgitate the sponsor’s marketing speak if it isn’t an actual experience, opinion, or belief of your own.
And the fine for not doing so? $11,000 big ones.