Could Your Real Estate Blog Be In Trouble With The FTC?

By
Real Estate Appraiser with AccuriZ LLC.

In the news industry, it is unethical for a reporter to accept gifts (monetary or material) in exchange for a favorable story. The same is now being implemented in the blogging world. According to a recent article, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) will fine bloggers $11,000 if blog post are made in exchange for good services from vendors. So real estate bloggers beware; that next blog post or statistical reports done quid pro quo could cost you $11,000. The lines between actual news reporting and blogging are becoming more and more blurred. As the credibility and outreach of blogging increases, I expect to see more strict guidelines for us.

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Rainmaker
564,831
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

John - yet another broad sweeping regulation that will hurt the individual. I especially liked Jeff Jarvis's take on it, even though he and I do not agree about Zillow.

Oct 06, 2009 10:36 AM #1
Ambassador
578,642
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Featured @ Club Chaos

Oct 06, 2009 10:59 AM #2
Rainer
22,617
Celina Gleason
AgentOwned Realty - Manning, SC

Jeez!  What next? Thanks for posting about this serious issue.  I really didn't realize this!  I wonder sometimes when I'm going to be required a permit to breathe!

Oct 06, 2009 11:10 AM #3
Rainer
128,224
Linda Powers
Resort Realty - Duck - Duck, NC
On the Outer Banks

John,

Great information. It sounds as though we won't be able to thank a vendor for simply giving excellent service to our clients any more. Well, I still believe it pays to be nice ... not in a monitary sense, but simply paying kindness forward. It wins every time.

Oct 06, 2009 11:51 AM #4
Rainer
156,897
Sandy Childs
Keller Williams Realty - Spartanburg, SC
Realtor - Spartanburg, SC

John: There has got to be a line drawn in the sand some where. Many if us just want to publish to pass the word on to the public.

Oct 06, 2009 12:54 PM #5
Rainer
146,892
Coleen DeGroff
eXp Realty - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

Thanks for posting this.  Since blogging is a form of journalism, it makes sense to me that we need a way to separate news/local stories/etc from advertisements.....it's one thing to do a video on a local restaurant because you want to tell people about it.....it's quite another to accept payment for the story, in the form of free food and/or drinks.

 

I don't think anyone is trying to say we cannot report on local establishments to inform our readers about what's available in the local area....but I think it's important that we draw the distinction between stories & advertisements....otherwise every blog post could turn into a ShamWow infomercial.

 

Just my .02,

Coleen

Oct 06, 2009 02:43 PM #6
Rainer
36,542
David Williams
CaryRealEstate.com - Cary, NC

hmmm,  very interesting

Oct 06, 2009 10:12 PM #7
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