Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Payola... Pay-oh-el-ay-ol-la...

Just caught news on CBC that American bloggers are now expected to be transparent about who is paying them off:

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday announced new rules that require bloggers in the United States to disclose "material connections" — or "connections that consumers would not expect" — with the subjects they write about. The connections can take the form of outright payments, advertisements or free products given to the blogger by the subject.

Not complying could cost bloggers up to $11,000 U.S. per post. Meanwhile, Canadian authorities aren't in a hurry to enact similar rules, because they can't figure out who's territory blogs are.

The U.S. rule seems kind of dumb to me, since blogs are supposed to be subjective and suspect by their very nature. I prefer to take care of this on the consumer level, by educating them not to believe everything they read, and to always assume ulterior motives.

Anyway, just in case Canada happens to enact similar rules, I'd like to state for the record that I am a [bleep]ing adman, and therefore in the pocket of every client we have. There can be no "payola" scam here, because I am proactively disclosing that I will use this blog to promote paying clients whenever possible.

Take public transit. Become a foster parent. Go back to school. Stop elder abuse. Protect yourself against H1N1, Etc.

But if you still want something Payola-related, here you go:

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