According to an article appearing in the New York Times, which you can read here, bloggers will be soon obliged to divulge the free stuff they get from companies in order to provide them with material to review.
"The new regulations are aimed at the rapidly shifting new-media world and howActual fines are going to be implemented too: "Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could bring fines up to $11,000 per violation. Bloggers or advertisers also could face injunctions and be ordered to reimburse consumers for financial losses stemming from inappropriate product reviews."
advertisers are using bloggers and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
to pitch their wares.The F.T.C. said that beginning on Dec. 1, bloggers who
review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including, in
most cases, the receipt of free products and whether or not they were paid in
any way by advertisers, as occurs frequently. The new rules also take aim at
celebrities, who will now need to disclose any ties to companies, should they
promote products on a talk show or on Twitter".
Finally, might we add! Full disclosure has been a constant policy on this blog from the very start for the simple reason I believe that readers have a right to know whether we might be influenced by free stuff or not (Not that we have actually received anything much because offering to share costs seems to deter some offers, but we're not trivialising even mere samples because like George Bernand Shaw knew it's not in the amount but in the spirit of the thing). Please find the disclosure in the end of each relevant post.