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This day, December 1, 2009 is a BIG day in the blogging & world of Social Media.
Today, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) that is in charge of overseeing the world of blogs, websites and social media has put in effect new laws that 1)"incorporates several changes to the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which address endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, and celebrities, as well as the disclosure of important connections between advertisers and endorsers." You can read the complete new guidelines here. Many of these guidelines are almost 29 years overdue!
Basically that means that ALL bloggers must disclose any relationship they have with a company on their blog/website beyond paying for a service or product of their own wallet. It also includes any endorsements, testimonials, sponsorships, etc. made on any kind of Social Media site and that also includes Face book, Twitter, My Space, etc.
What does that Mean to Your Las Vegas Wedding Concierge: Well, when it comes to endorsing or recommending fellow wedding professionals and venues to my readers and clients, it means I keep on doing what I have always practiced; Never participating in ANY referral fee or commission program to endorse (or pay to be endorsed) another wedding professional or venue. I have always believed that by recommending professionals based on their talent, professionalism and the trust I have in them ensures your best interests as my clients and readers is always highest priority. It is one of the hallmarks of my business practices and a standard of the professional wedding associations I am a paid member of.
What it means for my blog readers is that you will see even more transparency here. If I recommend a product or book or website where I have received a complimentary copy you will know about it in the blog post. If I have written an editorial or appear as an "expert" resource for a blog or wedding website or magazine that I pay to advertise with, it will be disclosed. If you see a "Preferred Planner" or "Best of" award from a blog, vendor, venue or wedding website of which I pay to advertise, it will be disclosed. If I win an industry award from an association of which I am a paid member, it will be disclosed and so on....
Why Should YOU Care?: You should care...A LOT!! It's about TRUST and INTEGRITY. As a wedding consultant it's everything to me and the very core of what I have to offer you as my clients. It's why I hope you read my blog and have confidence in what I have to say and why I believe my clients come to me to plan their most important wedding celebrations and life events.
Many of my industry friends have made reference to this very important development on their blogs too. Here is a small selection.
Style Me Pretty Backstage Blog (*Your Las Vegas Wedding Concierge is a preferred paid advertiser with SMP).
The Business of Being Creative by Sean Low
Think Splendid Blog by Liene Stevens
I welcome these new changes in the spirit of transparency, trust, honesty, integrity and fellowship among my wedding industry colleagues and fellow bloggers.
What do you think of these new guidelines as a wedding planning couple, a reader of blogs (this or any kind), as a blogger or as a company? I would love to hear your thoughts?
Celebrate Your Day with LOVE, LIFE & STYLE!
*1) Source: FTC Website: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm