Check out this really cool looking mushroom that I discovered growing in my garden today. Can anyone offer some guidance on what kind of mushroom it is?
At first I thought this was pretty clear but then the FTC decided to complicate things by saying about their own regulations that they were “guidelines” and not “regulations”. However, in that same statement they said that advertisers would be required to adhere to the guidelines, so what is the difference between a guideline and a regulation if compliance is mandatory… obviously nada, zip, zero difference.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to withdraw its recently revised guidelines governing dealings between bloggers and marketers. The ad trade group says the rules “unfairly and unconstitutionally” impose penalties on online media for practices, while exempting traditional media. Furthermore, in an open letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, Randall Rothenberg, the IAB’s president and CEO, says the FTC’s distinction between offline media and online media, “constitutionally dubious” by invoking the First Amendment right to free speech. Release
Given that the burden for compliance falls to advertisers under these guidelines, it is not surprising that the IAB is calling for their reversal, or more accurately for the FTC to just go back to the way things were. Given the confusion that has followed this announcement by the FTC I think the agency either has to cut bait and rethink their process or refine them to be less of an overreach.
I really wonder what is worse for Ralph Lauren’s brand, their use of Photoshop to distort their models in unnatural (and a little perverse as well) ways, or their public relations efforts in the wake of coverage of it. Their efforts going after bloggers brings them unwanted attention (not all PR is good PR, really) yet the Photoshopping exposes them for something else altogether.