New FTC rules

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2009/10/05 11:50:01 (permalink)

New FTC rules

Does this new FTC rule affect reviews on Roadfood?  If you tell a restaurant you are taking pictures of their food for Roadfood and they give you a free dessert, for example?
 
from http://apnews.excite.com/article/20091005/D9B502NG1.html
 
"The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products...........the commission stopped short Monday of specifying how bloggers must disclose any conflicts of interest...........Penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation. The rules take effect Dec. 1."
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    divefl
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    Re:New FTC rules 2009/10/05 12:31:26 (permalink)
    Depends on the definition they are using for "bloggers."  Think of people posting reviews on trip advisor.  
    #2
    Tony Bad
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    Re:New FTC rules 2009/10/05 12:42:42 (permalink)
    I'm sure these rules will be obeyed to the letter! I mean no one drives more than 55 any more! 
    #3
    David_NYC
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    Re:New FTC rules 2009/10/05 22:06:22 (permalink)
    Will the FTC absolutely, positively bring charges against any and all shills who promote their products on Roadfood? About as likely as the FCC shutting down all the pirate radio stations in the Miami and NYC areas.
    #4
    stricken_detective
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    Re:New FTC rules 2009/10/06 14:52:50 (permalink)
    6star

    Does this new FTC rule affect reviews on Roadfood?  If you tell a restaurant you are taking pictures of their food for Roadfood and they give you a free dessert, for example?
     
    from http://apnews.excite.com/article/20091005/D9B502NG1.html
     
    "The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products...........the commission stopped short Monday of specifying how bloggers must disclose any conflicts of interest...........Penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation. The rules take effect Dec. 1."
     

    I am not a food blogger & don't drop the Roadfood name to get free food. Sometimes it's given to us, but that has nothing to do with what I think of the restaurant.  
    #5
    Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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    Re:New FTC rules 2009/10/06 15:04:53 (permalink)
    We sometimes receive emails from restaurants that want to be reviewed on Roadfood.  They rarely explicitly say "come dine on us" but that seems to be the implication.  Sue and I never take them up on the offer.

    When we travel we rarely mention Roadfood to the restaurateurs, and even when we do, nobody's ever offered to pick up the check.  And if they did, we wouldn't let them.  It's easy, though, to maintain one's "integrity" when the check is $8.47.
    #6
    Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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    Re:New FTC rules 2009/10/06 16:20:16 (permalink)
    Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle

    We sometimes receive emails from restaurants that want to be reviewed on Roadfood.  They rarely explicitly say "come dine on us" but that seems to be the implication.  Sue and I never take them up on the offer.

    When we travel we rarely mention Roadfood to the restaurateurs, and even when we do, nobody's ever offered to pick up the check.  And if they did, we wouldn't let them.  It's easy, though, to maintain one's "integrity" when the check is $8.47.


    I agree with Bruce - there is no such thing as a free lunch.  I occasionally get comped on meals, but I always leave a tip that would easily cover the cost.  It's a win-win.
    #7
    bartl
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    Re:New FTC rules 2009/10/14 11:13:38 (permalink)
    I run a local web magazine. All the local police and government I have interacted with consider me to be a legitimate journalist. Before starting up, I read the ACLU book, THE RIGHTS OF REPORTERS (which was based on cases of low-circulation journals published by activists, but are applicable to the Internet). And I have been following the EFF since it got started up.

    Here's the problem, as I see it (as does the EFF). The FTC has made regulation that differentiates online speech with print speech. For example, when you read book reviews, you never see a notice that the books were provided to the news media for free, or film critics get to see free previews of a movie. That's because it isn't required for print media.

    There are currently a number of cases going through the courts of "who is a journalist". And, in the case of the web, we have the additional problem of differentiating between journalistic portions of sites (such as, to give the example of this site, the main portions, like the restaurant reviews that go through an editorial review process, versus the forums, where anybody can post anything).

    But I think that the FTC regulation will fail on 1st Amendment grounds.
    #8
    goodgreasyeats
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    Re:New FTC rules 2009/10/14 11:45:20 (permalink)
    I run a review blog site (it's been discussed on some other forums here)  and I have never taken a free meal from a restaurant, however I have been offered free meals in the past.  In light of these recent FTC rule changes I've been toying with the idea of placing a legal disclaimer at the footer of my site just stating that I do not get paid or accept free meals for my reviews.  Is anybody else thinking about doing this? 
    #9
    bartl
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    Re:New FTC rules 2009/10/14 17:10:25 (permalink)
    goodgreasyeats I run a review blog site (it's been discussed on some other forums here)  and I have never taken a free meal from a restaurant, however I have been offered free meals in the past.  In light of these recent FTC rule changes I've been toying with the idea of placing a legal disclaimer at the footer of my site just stating that I do not get paid or accept free meals for my reviews.  Is anybody else thinking about doing this? 

    It's a good idea in general, even when it's not legally required. But, let's say you are talking to the owner of the restaurant as a foodie, as opposed to as a reviewer, and he or she offers to let you taste something. Frankly, I've been getting freebies from restaurants long before I ever even thought of writing a review, simply because of my interest in the food or common interests with the owners (for example, I used to play videogames with the owner of one Chinese restaurant). When the freebie is not based on my status of a reviewer, should it count? Especially when it's really just a taste, and not a full portion? (note that this has nothing to do with the FTC rule, which I still think is illegal).

        Bart


    #10
    jman
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    Re:New FTC rules 2009/10/14 19:23:02 (permalink)
    6star

    Does this new FTC rule affect reviews on Roadfood?  If you tell a restaurant you are taking pictures of their food for Roadfood and they give you a free dessert, for example?
     
    from http://apnews.excite.com/article/20091005/D9B502NG1.html
     
    "The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products...........the commission stopped short Monday of specifying how bloggers must disclose any conflicts of interest...........Penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation. The rules take effect Dec. 1."


    It depends.  Are you an R or a D?  j/k
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