Thursday, October 27, 2011

Someone needs a visit from the FTC Endorsement Guide fairy

Check out this Gawker story about a marketing company, 43a, which seems to be offering to pay bloggers for links while hiding these relationships from everyone, including the editors of the sites on which the bloggers post. Quote:
What we suggest (as long as you think it won't get you into any trouble — we don't want anything that isn't beneficial for both parties) is trying to drop a link in the article, and seeing if the editor mentions it. If he does, remove the link, and we'll go our separate ways. If he doesn't, we'll pay you handsomely, and we can continue if you want to. We don't do this for every article, and there is a certain "under the radar" element to it, so you don't want to over do it.
Perhaps someone should inform 43a (whose name sounds disturbingly similar to that of your humble blogger) that getting in trouble with the editor is not the worst thing that could arise out of this scheme. Note that the publishers and most of the businesses named in the solicitation email quickly issued statements that this scheme violated their own policies and that they didn't actually work with 43a, respectively--so those legal teams are on the ball.

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