PayPerPost Deservedly Slapped

December 14th, 2006 | Categories: blogs, markets

My most hated enemy, PayPerPost, recently got slapped in the face by the FTC and PayPerPost logorightfully so. This bottom-of-the-barrel, blood-sucking entity should be put out of business altogether. I have already written about their unethical practices here and here.

As a quick refresher, the company has created a marketplace for bloggers and advertisers. An advertiser pays a given blogger to post about their company. Pretty simple right? Yeah, but PayPerPost doesn’t understand the ethics of the blogosphere and the importance around transparency. Having said that, paid bloggers do NOT need to disclose payment information with the given blog post. In addition, all bloggers are paid the same amount per post, independent of your traffic or blog readership. Ridiculous to say the least.

My words of advice: please, please, please check out ReviewMe instead. This is a much ReviewMe logobetter marketplace for bloggers and advertisers. It eliminates the immoral practices of PayPerPost while providing a comprehensive solution for both bloggers and advertisers. 

Ok, so I strayed a little of course there…

My point was that PayPerPost is sacrificing the integrity and trust of the entire blogging community. The blogosphere is all about self-expression and personal beliefs, not fabricated opinions.

For this very reason, the Federal Trade Commission has stepped in and begun scrutinizing practices around writing a paid editorial piece and failing to disclosing payment. Woohoo!

 The FTC issued the following statement:

“Raised concerns about a specific type of amplified word-of-mouth marketing, specifically the practice of marketers paying a consumer (the “sponsored consumer”) to distribute a message to other consumers without disclosing the nature of the sponsored consumer’s relationship with the marketer.”

This is a step in the right direction and I hope that PayPerPost eventually makes payment disclosure obligatory.

Now, I’ve read and heard people talk about product placement in movies and how payments are not disclosed, but we’re talking about a whole different ball-game here. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. When most people see a product placement in a movie, they expect that it’s paid. The same goes for travel and vacation write-ups. Most people expect that the editor received a free trip or some sort of compensation in return for the article. These free incentives for travel writers and publishers have been around for years. It’s to be expected. But in the blogosphere, I would wager that most people believe 99%+ of all posts are written without payment for the sole purpose of expressing the viewers of the author. Paid blog posts are NOT to be expected. Therefore, disclosure should be mandatory if a transaction is completed.

NOTE: Factual information for this post was pulled from a Mathew Ingram post.

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