Nov 12, 2010

Vasoline Does It Right (But That's Not an Endorsement)

Ever since the Federal Trade Commission issued its "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising," with its specific guidelines for disclosure of compensated reviews and endorsements by bloggers, I have been writing about questionable advertising campaigns that appeared to run afoul of the rules.  (I have also been criticizing the rules themselves, and the disparate treatment of traditional and citizen media.)

So I was interested to see a New York Times article on a new advertising campaign by Unilever's Vasoline brand for its Vaseline Intensive Rescue skin cream. 

The campaign features three "mommy bloggers" (A Giveaway Addicted Mommy; An Island Life; Supermom Reviews) that the company found by searching for blogs discussing dry skin.  The bloggers are featured on the campaign's web site, and they also write about the product and the campaign on their blogs.

The important part, regarding the FTC rules, is that the bloggers all disclose on their sites that they are being compensated, either by being paid cash or receiving free products.  (Although some of the disclosures could be clearer.)

The Vaseline Intensive Rescue campaign shows that advertisers and bloggers can comply with the FTC guidelines, not matter how misguided the Guides may be.
I was not compensated, in cash or with any free or reduced-price products, for this posting.  Too bad.


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