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How does today's FTC ruling affect you?


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Sounds like one can just standardize a bit of copy along the lines of: "This cd/book/dvd was recieved from X."

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

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Does the ruling merely include bloggers (among other journalists), or does it single out bloggers? If I review DVDs in a column for a print newspaper, do I have to specify when I've received a review copy? Or only if I have a blog?

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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Do I avoid this because I'm not based in the US? Or if I ge US product or run my site using a US server 9blogger) does it aoply as well. If I get to see a film for free do I have to say that? Even if it was shot in 1910?

On the up side this might mean that the big film publications who get all the freebies might stop hyping crap films quite so much (that's you Empire, though sadly not only you).

Matt

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Here's what the FTC actually said. Key paragraph:

The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a paid endorsement – like any other advertisement – is deceptive if it makes false or misleading claims.
My reading would be that getting a screener for free would not be classed as something "that consumers would not expect ". I might stick a general disclaimer next to my copyright info though.

Matt

Edited by MattPage
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In the case of crap films with lots of freebies, perhaps publications should start dismissing the film and reviewing the freebies. "Transformers XVII was absolutely rancid, but hey, at least I got a cool neon-yellow iPod case with matching sneakers!"

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

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It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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Empire is waaaaay ahead of you. Their, hugely entertaining, weekly emailed news has a regular "FROM OUR POSTBAG" bragging about their favourite freebie.

Matt

(*Views expressed may have been unduly influenced by my receiving a review copy of some of the films in question)

Edited by MattPage
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Here's what the FTC actually said....My reading would be that getting a screener for free would not be classed as something "that consumers would not expect ". I might stick a general disclaimer next to my copyright info though.

Exactly. I think something like this in the corner of the main page of the website might do the trick:

"Hey you. Yes, you. We don't think you're stupid. We know that you know that studios sometimes send us free screeners, and sometimes we review movies that we we see from these screeners. I mean, duh. C'mon. But in order to make doubly sure we're complying with current FTC policy, we were forced to mention that to you. So now you know. Like you didn't before. Just please, please don't forget so we don't have to waste precious pixels telling you again."

Dale

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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