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FTC may put hammer down on blogger shills

I'll start this one off by describing what a shill is as far as this bloggo is concerned. A shill is any blogger who has been paid off in the form of freebies or cold hard cash to write a glowing wonderful review, but at the same time never lets the audience know that he or she has received these perks.

Are you committing ad fraud in that instance? YES, because you're being disingenuous at that point. All you had to do was say, "I received X from X company, and this is my review on it" somewhere in your article. If you don't, that's fraud.

If I receive a freebie or two (which I sometimes do) from a company and write a review on the product either here or elsewhere, I will state up front that I got it for free to review and make no attempt to hide that fact, and neither should you.

You should always disclose whether you received anything you review on your blog (whether pro or personal) as a freebie or not. If you don't, you're nothing but a shill and absolutely worthless to the blogging community. Being a shill is just as bad as being a spammer, if not worse.

091005

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