If a female blogger writes glowingly about some beauty products, don’t for a moment think that she’s just a happy camper. She has probably been paid to do so.
If a food blogger mentions a restaurant in his blog, he too has probably been paid to do so.
If you think restaurant guides or reviews are to help the public make wise decisions then I must say you are very very naïve.
Come on, don’t be so naïve!
Apparently many are.
That’s why from December, bloggers in the US will have to make “clear and conspicuous” disclosures if, for example, they write a restaurant review after having been treated to a feast there.
The penalty for flouting this rule in blogs or postings in Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube: A fine of US$11,000/-.
Ditto for Singapore.
The Media Development Authority is said to be looking into something similar.
About time indeed!
Some publications may claim that they always make clear that they distinguish between paid advertorials and regular reporting but if a write-up appears on the same page with product ads doesn’t that make the claim meaningless?