As many of you may be aware, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has new mandatory guidelines (laws?) for bloggers who review products. As I understand, the gist of it is that bloggers must disclose if they are compensated, etc. for the review. Failure to disclose may result in penalties. Presumably this is to protect consumers from unethical bloggers who will offer favorable reviews for free product or payment. But what about all the blatantly false advertising that goes on in the cosmetic world? You won’t have to look hard to find dozens of visual lies, inflated product claims and outright lies in health and beauty advertising. Shouldn’t the FTC be out policing that?
It burns me up when I see makeup ads where there is obvious airbrushing and/or use of enhancements- mascara ads are some of the worst. Many ads promises longer, healthier lashes, but the model is clearly wearing fake lashes. I’ve seen a disclaimer in British magazines stating that the model is wearing false lashes, but never in US ones. Talk about needing disclaimers! How about “Even our professional makeup artists couldn’t get the look they wanted with our product, so they had to add fake lashes.”
What about airbrushing? Why don’t models have any pores? Why can companies marketing face creams edit out wrinkles so it appears their cream is more effective? To me, this is much more serious than some bloggers getting samples to review.
So, while I understand the why disclosure is beneficial, as far as I’m concerned, the FTC can go pound salt since I’m not in the US. I also generally don’t get samples either because I mix my own polishes rather than reviewing commercial ones. I don’t accept any advertising at all. But why is the FTC holding bloggers to a strict legal standard that professional media are not expected to attain? If they’re so concerned about truth in advertising and disclosure, then it needs to apply to everyone. Period.