Fri, Jul 02, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Foundation takes bloggers to task over endorsements

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLESThe Consumers' Foundation said blog posts written in exchange for cash or other forms of compensation should be treated as advertising

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Consumers' Foundation on Wednesday urged authorities to punish bloggers who endorse products and publish promotional articles that exaggerate a product's performance.

The consumer rights watchdog recently sampled 10 of the top blogs read in Taiwan and found that all 10 bloggers had written some form of recommendation or review targeted at a single product, service or promotional event. Popular bloggers such as “abig99” (貴婦奈奈) and “illyqueen” (女王) were among the list of bloggers included in the survey.

The foundation said that eight of the 10 bloggers would indicate when certain blog posts were written at the request of companies that provided free products or other forms of compensation for writing the article.

Two of the bloggers said on their blogs that they did not write articles at the request of companies and the reviews posted were a product of their own visits or purchases.

Foundation vice chairperson Joann Su (蘇錦霞) said that blog posts written in exchange for cash payments or other forms of compensation should be treated as advertising, and the bloggers or authors should be required to disclose their relationship with the company.

The foundation urged authorities to regulate the new forms of advertisement and promotion popping up on the Internet.

In response, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said it could only punish false advertising, but could do nothing about blog content.

Commission vice chairperson Shih Hui-fen (施惠芬) said that because there are no laws regulating such promotions, the commission could not punish bloggers that do not make such disclosures.

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