In October of 2009 I linked to a Galley Cat story about a new FTC rule that required book bloggers to disclose that reviewed books were provided for free by a publisher. In the past few days I have seen the practical application of this requirement.
BluesSpeak: The Best of the Original Chicago Blues Annual
Guide Disclosure: A review copy of this CD, DVD, or book was provided by the record label, publisher, or publicist. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
A Parisienne in Chicago: Impressions of the World’s Columbian Exposition
Although I received my complimentary copy of this charming book from the publisher, that has not influenced my review in any way.
Is this really necessary? I ship books to “traditional” media outlets all of the time and don’t recall seeing a similar notification attached to any reviews. Radio stations receive free CDs from record companies and don’t disclose that fact after the implied endorsement of every played song. And, bookstores don’t alert customers that books receiving prime display space are there because the publishers have paid a premium for placement.
I vote for consistency.