In a world where the lines between advertising and editorial are already blurred in some places, the F.T.C. is planning to revise rules about endorsements and testimonials in advertising that have been in place since 1980. According to an article in The New York Times, “the new regulations are aimed at the rapidly shifting new-media world and how advertisers are using bloggers and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to pitch their wares.”
It seems this rule is designed to control advertisers who are using bloggers and social media to hawk their products, and also to stem the tide of giveaways to bloggers who review products. Publications who review products have always received free products, in order to review them. How is the government going to tease out the differences? What does this mean in terms of covering products, writing reviews of products, and otherwise posting relevant information about particular industries?