FTC to (finally) crack down on “pay for posting”

In what I think is long overdue news, the FTC today announced that bloggers must disclose if they are being paid to review or post a product on their website, as well as post a “clear and conspicuous” disclosure if such a post is being made under paid pretenses. The penalties include fines up to $11,000 per violation. The new ruling, available directly on the FTC’s site, also mandates that “celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.”


Have you ever noticed how when a new product comes out, a lot of websites have the identical text when reviewing the product? I’m not talking about a few sentences here and there. I’m talking about the same verb use, the exact same sentences, and the exact same 4 1/2 and 5 star reviews. That’s payola at work for you. There’s even a very popular website that apparently fired it’s reviewer for actually posting an honest review when the game company had paid for advertising on that site.

What’s also interesting is the specific mention in the article that “word of mouth” advertising also applies. This regulation makes it mandatory that even if it’s activity beyond websites, if it’s paid for, it needs to have that notation clearly attached. The RNC and DNC should watch out for this little tripwire from the FTC. I can see them stepping on this in some of their “campaigns”, too.

I think what will probably come of this for the web will be a puny little “advertisement” banner on the top of a paid post, much like what is in magazines and TV ads nowadays. But it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

The problem with Dave

When someone cheats on you, it’s devastating. Devastating. There is no other word for it. There is no kind way to frame it.

A few days ago, David Letterman admitted on his show “he is the victim of an alleged extortion attempt and admitted to having sexual relations with several members of his staff”. A few mild jokes later, ha ha, it’s so funny, and let’s not talk about it anymore. Next guest!

Fine. But I think David missed one very critical thing.

Nevermind the blackmail or the producer or the money. David needs to apologize to Regina Lasko. Because since this was revealed in the public eye, it needs to be addressed in the public eye. He has apologized to his staff, his audience, his friends, but nothing to the woman who has been with him since 1986. 23 years and one child apparently doesn’t merit one public “mea cupla”.

On his show, in the same context as the original confession, he needs to say “Regina, I’m sorry for having cheated on you.” Then take a week or two off to really seriously work on the relationship. Quit going back to the scene of the crime and hiding behind work. Go home, take your hits, and make things better. I’m sure Craig Ferguson will be happy to cover the Late Show.

And if you go back and there isn’t any love? Let them go. Quit wasting someone’s life who loves you if you really don’t have the same love for them back. Let them go to be with someone who will really love them just as much as they loved you.

Cheating is anything you can’t do in front of your partner. If they’re OK with having whatever done right in front of them, then it’s not cheating. It’s as simple as that.