The FTC has too much time on their hands

Apparently the FTC has too much time on their hands according to this AP article:

Savvy consumers often go online for independent consumer reviews of products and services, scouring through comments from everyday Joes and Janes to help them find a gem or shun a lemon.

What some fail to realize, though, is that such reviews can be tainted: Many bloggers have accepted perks such as free laptops, trips to Europe, $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars for a 200-word post. Bloggers vary in how they disclose such freebies, if they do so at all.

The practice has grown to the degree that the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention. New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.

It would be the first time the FTC tries to patrol systematically what bloggers say and do online. The common practice of posting a graphical ad or a link to an online retailer — and getting commissions for any sales from it — would be enough to trigger oversight.

So if Kim Cameron praises Cardspace in his blog, does that trigger an FTC inquiry? I mean we all know he works for Microsoft but does he have to put a disclaimer in each posting? Or is once the main page enough?

What makes this all the more silly is that tonight ABC will run an hour long infomercial for Obama’s nationalized health care, the cost of which the administration estimates to be more than 1.5 trillion dollars (and we all know it will never be that cheap). How come the FTC isn’t investigating that?

Oh wait, I forgot who runs the FTC now.

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