Online Astroturfing Scrutinized

Notice Those Ads on Blogs? Regulators Do, Too (pdf)

Two of the National Advertising Review Council’s investigative units plan to announce Tuesday their first decisions involving blogs. Their recommendations call for clear disclosure when a company is sponsoring a site or paying for product reviews.

That’s nothing shocking, but it’s part of a sharper focus on the relationships between bloggers and advertisers. Attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission, which is about to expand its endorsement guidelines to include blogs, are investigating the area, along with the self-regulatory groups.