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Feb 27, 2011

Mommy Bloggers Have To Do Their Homework

Today's New York Times Magazine has an article on "mommy bloggers," focusing on Heather Armstrong’s Dooce.com, which includes some discussion of advertisers that specifically provide such bloggers with free or discounted products or services, or pay them with either cash or gift cards, for mentions on the blogs.

One of the blogs mentioned in the article, the SelfishMom.com blog, has a rating scale to indicate the extent of such sponsorships: from "level 1," which indicates that the blogger received the product or service for free or at a considerable discount not available to the public,” to "level 13," which indicates a sponsored post with talking points that may have been suggested by the sponsor.

As I mentioned in a comment to the Times article, the Federal Trade Commission's "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising," which require disclosure of incentives for bloggers to mention commercial products or services, apply to "mommy bloggers" just as they do to other bloggers and social media commentators.

Bloggers' statements about sponsorships do not have to be as extensive as the SelfishMom.com system, but the guides do require some sort of disclosure.  They also require the advertisers to inform bloggers of this requirement.

If "mommy bloggers" -- and all other bloggers and social media posters -- include sponsored statements, they have to do their homework.

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