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Pay Per Post Requires Disclosure

Maybe their conscience got the best of them, or maybe the FTC's ruling did it, but controversial PayPerPost.com is now requiring disclosure. In case you've not been following this issue, PayPerPost.com is a site that gets bloggers to write posts about companies and products for a fee. The problem -- and there is more than one -- is that PPP didn't require full-disclosure. Hence, a blogger could write a post proclaiming the benefits of a certain product or company without informing the reader that, presumably, the reason they were doing it was because they were being paid. TechCrunch

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Maybe their conscience got the best of them, or maybe the FTC's ruling did it, but controversial PayPerPost.com is now requiring disclosure. In case you've not been following this issue, PayPerPost.com is a site that gets bloggers to write posts about companies and products for a fee. The problem -- and there is more than one -- is that PPP didn't require full-disclosure. Hence, a blogger could write a post proclaiming the benefits of a certain product or company without informing the reader that, presumably, the reason they were doing it was because they were being paid. TechCrunch says this new development is a step in the right direction, but not perfect by any means as "advertisers can still require a positive post about their products, and the disclosure does not have to be within the post itself." As you may know, I've written about this issue a couple of times (here and here) and have been somewhat back and forth on it. I don't believe being paid to blog is a bad thing necessarily, but I do believe that it's not in the best interest of bloggers to do so just for the money. Having said that, I don't believe it's necessary to include a disclosure reference in each post; a disclaimer conspicuously placed on your blog should suffice. This is an issue that still has legs and much more will be said I'm sure. Blogging's traditional claim to fame is as a source for reliable information. The pay per post issue challenges that assumption and as it matures as a form of social media marketing, this is one problem that's going to have to be resolved.

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