Free Markets, Free People


Oh, dear, I better get started on the FTC full disclosure stuff

The FTC says we bloggers are untrustworthy folks who might, *gasp*, try to influence people’s opinions for nefarious reasons, and not divulge all the payoffs, bribes, “promotional samples”, and other stuff we get that obviously drives us to be such unscrupulous shills. So I guess I better come clean about things for my prudent and judicious overlords at the FTC.

I was at Costco last week and they gave me a free sample of some cheese bread. I didn’t like it much. But they also gave me a sample of some powdered Acai berry kool-aid type stuff, and it wasn’t bad. Full disclosure: it was totally free. Just like samples at Costco always are, but I mention it just in case the FTC needs to know.

I got a new voter registration card, and I’ve been meaning to blog about this. See, we changed our land line to a mobile number, and that apparently triggers something at the election commission in Nashville to assume that we had moved away. So we had to fill out some forms telling them otherwise, and get a new card. But it was free, and I got it in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Do I have to divulge that the voter registration card was free when I talk about it? Better not take any chances.

I’ve discussed before how AT&T sucks toxic waste as a company. I have seen no improvement since I made that post. But I should disclose that they give me free stuff every month, according to items on my bill which have zero cost. Well, they say it’s free, though my $150 bill suggests that I’m paying for it in there somewhere. My son just got a free phone from them, because his old one broke, but we had to sign a two-year contract extension to get it, so I’m not sure if that counts. I guess I should consult a lawyer who specialized in FTC rules. Anyway, AT&T sucks toxic waste, and I’m pretty sure I don’t say that because they supposedly give me free stuff, but just in case I need to disclose any of this, I’ve now done so.

Do I have to disclose it again next month when I get my bill with the zero cost items? Guess I need to talk to my FTC law specialist on that one too.

I got a free brownie from my son last night. I was the best brownie I’ve ever eaten. Honest, and the fact that my son produced it or has nothing to do with that assessment. I think it’s because he used half-and-half instead of water in the mix. Anyway, I got it for free, and I’m telling you it was great, so this is my disclosure about it.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important disclosure! Two weeks ago, a wild turkey was in my carport. He seemed to be enjoying himself, so I parked in the front yard and left him alone. He left behind this beautiful tail feather.

Wild turkey tail feather, apparently donated by the turkey to influence me to post something positive about him on the Internet.

I put up a Twitter post about it, so I guess I need to disclose the tail feather because that influenced my decision to put something on the Internet about the turkey.

In conclusion, let me say that even though I have a very large turkey living in my back yard, I think the FTC bureaucrats who created this stupid disclosure rule are even bigger turkeys.

I am still allowed to say that, aren’t I?

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13 Responses to Oh, dear, I better get started on the FTC full disclosure stuff

  • Try olive oil instead of cooking oil in the next batch of brownies. Tends to make them more moist.

    Say… Do I have to report this tip to the FTC? Granted, I’m not charging you anything, but I guess that it COULD be seen as a free “consulting service”, and I AM trying to influence your opinions and actions. Full disclosure: I have no financial connections to any olive oil company or brownie mix company. Since you have influenced me to use half-and-half the next time I bake brownies (I will also pass this idea along to family and friends who share my sweet tooth), I guess I should also declare that I have no financial connections to any dairies.

    Gee, maybe I need to talk to a lawyer specializing in FTC regs, too.

  • This comment was made free of charge.
    Just sayin…

  • Every time I hear FTC, I am reminded of the WSJ story a few years ago about the effort of the FTC to put warnings on “marbles” (those small spherical toys usually made from glass, clay, or agate that date back to ancient Egypt). It seems that there is about one death a year related a swallowed marble causing suffocation, so the FTC sprung into action.
    The plan, at one point, was to have the warnings engraved on each and every marble .. I’m serious.

    I wonder what they are doing about “pointy sticks” and such.

    • No word yet on pointy sticks, but here’s what’s being done about rocks– they now have to be tested for sharp points in accordance with ASTM F963, thanks to CPSIA (the “toy safety” law whose lead testing provisions have gotten the most attention). I would assume pointy sticks would be subject to the same restrictions.

    • Oh, and BTW they did succeed in requiring labels to be placed on marbles, also via CPSIA. CPSC has decided that anything that’s sold in a set only has to have one element of the set labeled, so a set of marbles sold in a bag only has to have a label on the bag. But marbles that are sold individually have to be labeled individually, unless it’s “impracticable” to label them. No word yet on what defines “impracticable” or who gets to determine what’s “practicable.”

  • Sorry, I left off …
    I in no manner whatsoever represent the Marble Industrial Complex, the “Pointy Stick” Industrial Complex or any ancient Egyptians or Romans.
    No marbles, pointy sticks or such was given to me

  • How much does that Twitter account cost you? And that @gmail account? Hmmm, that’s free so you better really, REALLY start taking this seriously!

  • I know I don’t blog here, but…do commenters have to declare things they get?

    I’d like to point out that Scott Erb often gives me fits. Do I have to disclose that?

  • Butterflies are Free. So everyone who has seen a butterfly needs to get their disclosures in order …

    Wait a minute, that qualifies as free snark, so everyone reading this needs to get their disclosures in order…

    Hmmm, that qualifies as free advice, so everyone who is continuing to read this needs to get their disclosures in order…

  • What I’d really like to know is, if I link to my mom’s blog and endorse her Family Support Center, do I have to disclose everything she’s ever given me for my birthday and Christmas? If she comes to babysit for me, do I have to disclose that too?

  • Excellent snark on the post. However, I think that this threat from the FTC should be taken more seriously than merely mocking it. I see it as an insidious threat to our liberty. From where does Congress. or the FTC, derive the authority to regulate speech in this manner? Doesn’t the First Amendment apply to blogs? Maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic, but this kind of crap scares me, because I think that they might get away with it…

  • You failed to mention that your Twitter account is free. The Marshals will be at your door momentarily. Don’t bother packing, where you’re going you won’t need it.

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