More and more customers are going online before making a purchase and some are just looking for price, but more have been looking for consumer reviews of products and services. Sometimes, these comments can be skewed in favor of the brand you are researching. Bloggers could be paid or compensated for each positive post about the brand you may be looking for.
According to the Associated Press, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reviewing practices to monitor these bloggers and the gifts they receive. The FTC is in talks to developed new guidelines to go after bloggers for any false claims or failure to disclose any conflicts of interest.
"If you walk into a department store, you know the (sales) clerk is a clerk," said Rich Cleland, assistant director in the FTC's division of advertising practices. "Online, if you think that somebody is providing you with independent advice and ... they have an economic motive for what they're saying, that's information a consumer should know."
These mandatory disclosures could change how reviews are perceived because users may never know that bloggers are being compensated for their posts.