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Clearing up the myths of FTC social media regulations in Ad Age and NPR

(Read this, this, and this for background on the FTC social media issue.)

Here’s a column I wrote in Ad Age called Why the FTC’s Social Media Guidelines Are Great News for Marketers (Dan Gillmor’s debates the other side):

The FTC gave advertisers three gifts this week: Clear rules on how to work in social media; specific instructions on how to stay out of trouble; and a warning about who is running your social media campaigns.

This is great news. Now we have the clarity to properly invest in social media, without having to guess about legal risks. (read more)

Here’s a interview I did with On The Media’s Bob Garfield:

In both pieces, I respond to two odd, mistaken points of view that are being widely discussed:

  1. Not True: Bloggers are being held to some higher standard, and reporters are free to take whatever they want. Reality: The FTC updated existing rules to clarify that  everyone is held to the exact same standard. Disclosure of compensation has always been the law – for reporters, bloggers, and everyone else.
  2. Not True: There is an $11,000 penalty. This number was mistakenly published (and retracted) by AP.  Anyone quoting this figure clearly hasn’t even read the document, and you may want to question the rest of their statements.

Read more clarifications from the FTC’s Richard Cleland in Fast Company.

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