I had a very useful email from Wellsphere explaining the new rules for bloggers in the light of the USA Federal Trade Commission guidelines in effect from December 1st. The Guidelines are as follows:

* The Guidelines apply to Bloggers and online word-of-mouth marketers and require them to disclose any material connection to a company when reviewing the company’s products or services (failure to disclose any payment or receipt of free product from an advertiser or someone acting on their behalf could expose you to liability);

· Both advertisers and endorsers can be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement (if you were given a product for free or were paid to write a review, then the claims you make about the product must be accurate and substantiated);

· Advertisements containing consumer endorsements, or testimonials, must disclose what results a reasonable consumer could expect from the product and can no longer rely on a disclaimer that “results may vary”.

While there is still some confusion about how this applies to UK bloggers, it’s as well to know what is going on in the wider world of blogging and you may want to use disclaimers on your blog as a belt and braces measure.

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