PayPerPost Controversy Renewed


By Al Rozon
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

PayPerPost has been the center of controversy ever since its inception. The controversy here is this: Is it ethical for PayPerPost to pay bloggers for posting reviews on products, movies or anything else that “advertisers” want them to post about, without having to adhere to rules of disclosure?

The Baltimore Sun has a good article about this.

The Federal Trade Commission [FTC] says that “Word of Mouth advertising must be clearly disclosed”. Some argue that PayPerPost has stated that PayPerPost Bloggers do not need to disclose that they are advertising on behalf of their PayPerPost Advertisers. When confronted with this after a recent online interview, managing partner for Inflexion Partners, Dan Rua, the leading venture capital investor for PayPerPost, explained:

“…You say that PayPerPost doesn’t require disclosure and that is also incorrect. PayPerPost requires disclosure and goes further to provide multiple tools to maximize transparency and support industry/corporate guidelines.”

The interview with Dan Rua goes into details, offering some good rebuttles to the disclosure misconception shared by many bloggers out there.

As I read more and more into this, I was somewhat surprised to see how many ‘regular bloggers’ were completely opposed to this concept. We live in a very capitalist society. If there’s an easy way to make a buck, by jeebus, we’re going to jump on the bus to nirvana. Is getting paid to post on a blog really that much of a invasion?

One blogger really has a good take on all of this. He says:

“…Look in most magazines like Playboy or Maxim, you’ll see thin words “advertisement” in a tiny font and then a big spread that looks just like a regular feature advertising a companies products. There’s paid product insertion in TV shows and movies all the time and nobody discloses that in the credits. The songs you hear on the radio are paid by stations who hire promoters to get around the law that paid songs have to be disclosed by the radio station. I’m amazed anyone is shocked when it’s been done by every other form a media for years now. “

Both sides have valid points. The next time you are watching a movie, and everyone you see on screen is using Nokia Cell Phones, ask yourself one thing: was it disclosed, in plain view, that Nokia approached the producers of the movie to have their products used as props? This kind of thing does happen all the time.

My question to everyone is this: Is what PayPerPost offers any different?

I am curious to hear what all of you have to say on this.

Long time PayPerPost nay-sayer, Jason Calacanis, interviews PayPerPost CEO Ted Murphy.