With the growing amount of sponsored posts (where a company requests a follow link with specific wording in exchange for payment, in either product or monetarily), is it time for the blogging communities to self regulate?
Perhaps that seems a little extreme – a bit of background information would help. In traditional advertising, there are certain rules that advertisers and publishers must adhere to. You’ve probably seen when there’s an alcohol advert on TV or in a magazine that they usually will remind you to drink responsibly. Gambling ads will show a link to the Gamble Aware sites.
When we spoke to the ASA last year about their new guidelines relating to blogging, we asked if bloggers would be required to follow these guidelines and were told no, links to addiction support sites were not required.
But that’s the thing. Gambling is an addiction, and one that is on the increase. While you might not personally know anyone who is affected, you can never be sure who is going to be reading your blog. While it would be nice if the people requesting these sponsored posts recommended including links to organisations that can help, it’s quite unlikely.
We’re not saying that you should turn down the opportunity of a sponsored post, but don’t be afraid to say no if it’s something you feel uncomfortable advertising. (Check out SJ’s post about how to turn down a PR the polite way!)
What do you think – should bloggers be providing links to helpful organisations when dealing with these sort of links?