Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First, We'll Kill all the Bloggers

This NY Times article about the FTC requiring increased disclosure by bloggers, Twitterers, and others receiving free products in exchange for publicity absolutely shocks me. It's not that I'm against increased disclosure - I generally think more disclosure is usually better - but that the FTC - the Federal Fucking TRADE COMMISSION is going after BLOGGERS and TWITTERERS, as opposed to the mainstream media who, as I've discussed at length, has a MEGA agenda of their own...

"Some think it will help establish more professional standards, policing the kind of bloggers that Amber Katz, the founder of Beauty Blogging Junkie, calls “cloggers,” or bloggers who use their Web sites as platforms for soliciting the latest perfumes or garnering invitations to fashion industry events. “Cloggers will tweet about how they’d just love a free garment or accessory directly to a brand’s Twitter account,” she said. “They brazenly insist on tons of samples even though they haven’t been blogging long enough to build up any sort of readership.”"

Wait - so Ms. Amber Katz is angry that some beauty bloggers (cloggers!?!?!?) who she views as less worth are "brazenly" insisting on free samples that they don't deserve!??!?! STOP THE PRESSES!

Is the FTC going to require CNBC to publish a disclaimer mentioning that they are majorly incentivized to continually pump the markets with absurd spreading of ignorance, such as the importance of the "MYTHICAL" DOW 10,000 level (actual quote today on CNBC - MYTHICAL)? Is the FTC going to require every speaker on CNBC to mention that they have major incentive to talk people into buying stocks so that stocks continue to go up so that more people get talked into buying stocks (PONZI-RINSE-REPEAT) ???

No - the FTC has decided that some girl receiving free perfume and GAP jeans, and blogging about how much she likes the product, is violating the sanctity of American commerce if she doesn't disclose that she received a freebie.


In other news - this CNBC piece on the absurdity of the Las Vegas housing market is a must read. Excerpt:

"We went to a home that had been on the market for one day, and the key was stolen out of the lock box. Our Realtor said immediately, 'You want this home.' She told us another Realtor had stolen the key because they wanted their client to get it. So what did my Realtor do? She broke in. And sure enough this was the home we fell in love with. It was on for $132,000 so we decided to be really aggressive and offered $160,000, plus we had government backing on our loan. Well our Realtor called that night and said, 'You're not going to get the home. They got 30 offers and half are cash offers, so the bank is not even going to look at you.' The banks just want the cash to unload these places."


full disclosure: SHORT the stock market in general.


Anonymous said...


Seriously that housing story is depressing. The house I own in MN was bought roughly two years ago for 180K. I had it appraised a month ago and it was appraised at 155K, which is damn near what I owe on it. My wife and I were talking about how the neighbor just quit paying his mortgage and how he just pocketed all of that money and let them foreclose on him.

I have to be honest it is tempting, but I just have too much pride to do it. I sure hope the market bounces back soon though. I would hate to be upside down.


KajaPoker said...

Hey Grouse - under the stimulus plan you can refinance with your current lender to get a lower rate even if your loan to value is up to 105%. Wells Fargo calls it the Home Affordable Refinance program. Call today!

Full FTC BS disclosure: Fuck Wells Fargo. And fuck the FTC. I'll get as many fragrance samples as I want!

asphaltjesus said...

Free products/money/favors for column space is as old as Public Relations.

The only place it's overtly illegal is in Radio broadcasting where no one is shocked to hear about a payola scandal every other year.

Most things mentioned in the media got there by a concerted effort by the brand owner to pay for that placement. If they didn't directly pay for it, they certainly paid for it indirectly.

The Taliban would be the exception to this rule.