Ralph Grabowski wrote today on his blog, World Cad Access, that bloggers who receive compensation for reviewing a product or receive money for travel to see a vendor must disclose this in their articles or face a stiff penalty. He wrote:
WorldCAD Access and upFront.eZine have been making disclosure statements for several years now. We were the first in the CAD industry to declare when a vendor "pays" us, whether in providing transportation to a corporate event or providing free hardware for review.
We do this so that you know when an article might be biased, even though we work hard at writing neutrally most of the time. (Sometimes, we allow our feelings to show through.)
Now in the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has decided that all American bloggers have to make disclosure statements -- or pay an $11,000 fine, per posting!
His post also includes a reference to another writer's article on this matter.
Frederic Lardinois of the excellent ReadWriteWeb blog has this concise summary:
...any post of a blogger who receives "cash or in-kind payment to review a product" should be considered an endorsement... bloggers who receive freebies must now disclose this fact on their site.
If you've been thinking about this sort of blogging...keep it in mind.