Dear FTC: Is This the Kind of Thing You Want Me to Disclose?
I go back and forth on the new blogger disclosure rules the Federal Trade Commission rolled out last week. Part of me thinks the agency is trying to boil the ocean, and without any good reason–even if a blogger runs a post at the behest of a sleazy marketers, who really cares? On the other hand, there really are some sleazy marketers out there, so many that letters like this one, which popped into my inbox this morning, don’t even raise an eyebrow:
My name is [Redacted] and I’m working with the ad:tech team on the social media outreach and promotion for ad:tech New York. ad:tech recognizes that you are a key influencer in the digital marketing community, and as such, I’d like to see if you are interested in a promotion exchange.
ad:tech will provide:
- Twitter announcement of your involvement with ad:tech New York to our 6,800+ followers.
- Your choice of: a free pass to the exhibit hall (valued at $35) or 35% off a full conference pass.
*If you are already registered or can’t make it to the event, you can offer it as a prize to your network, give it to a friend or client….It is completely transferrable.
We ask you provide:
- No less than 3 posts about ad:tech New York on Twitter, Facebook or your blog. Suggested postings: a session you’re interested in, why you like ad:tech, the exhibitors that you want to see or technologies that you are interested in learning about. What you share is up to you–it just needs to be posted by November 1.
Interested in writing a blog post and would like additional information on ad:tech? Quotes, photos, interviews, ideas, etc. will happily be offered with request.
To redeem the offer:
Share 3 posts about ad:tech, then email me, [X]@ad-tech.com, with links/screenshots by November 1.
- Tell me how you’d like ad:tech to promote your involvement with the event at the show.
- Let me know if you’d like the free expo pass or the 35% discount on the conference.
Please let me know if this is something that you are interested in or if you have any questions?
Thank you for your continued support of ad:tech. I hope to meet you in New York!
Social Media Outreach
Well. Flattery is always a nice approach, so I’m pleased to hear about my influencer status. Also, it’s nice that the ad:tech team is willing to provide “ideas” for me upon request.
Alas, even if I wanted to take ad:tech up on its offer, the Dow Jones Code of Conduct would prevent me from doing so.
But this letter does generate two questions for me:
- Is my work nearly worthless? Or pretty valuable? Three posts is a little less than a day’s work for me. Ad:tech says that’s worth either $35 (a free expo pass) or up to $558 (35 percent of the highest price for an ad:tech conference pass). That’s a big swing!
- I know there are a lot of “social media experts” out there, because there are a lot of them following me on Twitter. But I don’t really know what they do. Is this it? That can’t be right. Can it?
Anyway, this kind of thing always makes we want to pull up a “Glengarry Glen Ross” clip. There isn’t a direct connection, mind you. Just a vibe.