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Endorsements

It trust my life to a GLOCK. And my wife’s to a ParaUSA. International Cartridge Corporation makes kick ass ammo. Blackhawk makes the finest shirts I’ve ever owned and the excellent SERPA holsters. Crimson Trace makes the best laser sights on the market. I buy ammo from CheaperThanDirt and LuckyGunner.

The FTC can also kiss my ass.

Update: It does occur to me that I pretty much have made all those disclosures anyway because I want readers to know the relationship. Not because I care what the FTC says. So, I guess my civil disobedience isn’t all that hardcore.

26 Responses to “Endorsements”

  1. Bitter Says:

    Republish this on December 1, then it’s officially civil disobedience. Although be forewarned, the companies you cite will be held liable as well. If you make a mistake in talking about a product, the FTC will likely go after the company as well.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    It actually occurs to me that pretty much I’ve made all those disclosures anyway because I want readers to know the relationship. Not because I care what the FTC says.

  3. Bitter Says:

    Yes, that’s true. And that’s a reasonable way to behave as a good blogger. However, the way these guidelines are structured, any company with a good attorney would never even talk to you again. If you forgot to disclose that you once picked up a free hat at SHOT, then future posts would have to reflect that. If you forgot, you could be on the hook for $11K, and the company could be as well.

    Plus, these rules aren’t in effect yet. Hence it’s not civil disobedience yet.

  4. Tomcatshanger Says:

    So that means we need to get paid what we normally make PLUS $11,000 then?

    Who am I kidding, I’m not getting paid by anyone. Dangit. I mean hell, who do I look like, a liberals shilll for Obama’s health care plan?

  5. Josh A Says:

    Reading through the notice, they are doing more than just forcing disclosure, they are establishing standards by which a statement is judged to be false or misleading. This includes the requirement that any “expert” opinion of a product is based actual use of the product and if you say that “GLOCKs are teh best pistols evah!!1!” you’d better be able to show you evaluated all the other options, if you were given a GLOCK to evaluate for free or at a discounted price.

    The problem isn’t the rule, it is who may or may not be enforcing it… hopefully this meets the dustbin of history stat.

  6. SayUncle Says:

    And if I say they are “teh best pistols evah!!1!” and all they gave me was a hat and some ammo?

  7. workinwifdakids Says:

    The only option, then, is to start endorsing companies or products you’ve never used.

    It’s a small price to pay for freedom!

  8. Caleb Says:

    No, the rule actually is part of the problem, specifically because of the way it’s worded. Example: my recent trip to Gunsite. S&W paid for the class, and gave me a bunch of free hats and shirts and a cool pocket knife. But I had to pay for the rifle. By the new rule, if I don’t specifically mention that S&W gave me a free hat, shirt, pocketknife, etc while I’m reviewing the gun then BAM SAID THE LADY that’s 11 grand that I don’t have.

  9. Bitter Says:

    And Caleb, don’t take this with any offense, but your fanboy style of getting excited about new products would set you up for lots of liability. I’ll be honest, the more excitable the blogger, the bigger risk a company is taking. That’s just your style, but after December 1, it will be a huge liability to your own wallet and those of any companies you ever mention in the future.

  10. NJSoldier Says:

    You really trust your lives to your training and practice, your willingness to defend yourselves, your determination to survive and persevere, and refusal to be a victim.

    In other words, you are an adult man.

    The specific tools are of secondary importance.

  11. Caleb Says:

    Yeah, and that’s kind of a problem. If I’m reading the new rules correctly, I can’t print a press release from Sig about their X-1500 Tactiblaster without disclosing any free stuff I’ve snagged from Sig table at SHOT over the past three years.

  12. Bitter Says:

    Nope, and if you do, the FTC could prosecute Sig for any perception that they should have known you get a bit fanboy-ish and didn’t disclose it on a single post. Lawyer up, folks.

  13. Caleb Says:

    You know what the real ass-chapper in all of this? The part where in the new guidelines, the FTC basically says “we considered all these objections and logical points about new media but said ‘fuck those guys’ so nyah nyah nyah.” Either that or the part where they said “hey, these rules don’t apply to print media because they have editors and that makes them more honest”.

  14. larry weeks Says:

    I went to the FTC site and read some of the ruling (it locked up and wouldn’t finish loading) but here’s my question. How is a blogger mentioning a product considered an “advertisement” and a print magazine article that mentions a product favorably is not an advertisement? I thought bloggers were being recognized as journalists and now FTC says you’re all just a bunch of whores. What I’ve seen gun bloggers are about as far from that as you can be. Must be caused by folks on the left.

  15. Jay Says:

    This really sucks.

    So what, the next time I review a pistol, I have to state that I own a USP, and have shot thousands of rounds through a Glock during my time at the police academy?

    Fuck. That. Shit.

  16. Bitter Says:

    Jay, unless you received a product from them or any kind of compensation at all, no you don’t. But if you have ever picked up a free pen from them, maybe. The FTC won’t say.

    Larry, you should try to download the entire guidelines and check references for current caselaw. The FTC says they are intentionally remaining vague on this, but claim they will primarily be prosecuting the companies instead of the bloggers.

    I’m still in the process of pulling out quotes and looking up some of the cross references. Of course, the FTC says that as a blogger, it’s a given that I understand the full case law and federal rule making history on advertising. Gee, don’t all of you?

  17. drstrangegun Says:

    Does the FTC website not offer free notifications of government services, and therefore everyone reading it has recieved services from FTC… and in reviewing the FTC were I to publish a story of a type that would force an FTC review of the reviewed entity, would they have to audit or fine themselves?

  18. Chas Says:

    Markie Marxist sez: “At least this is some progressive progress against capitalism. It’s unfortunate that we have to use the hook of the bloggers getting freebies and also not reporting them, instead of just nailing them directly for endorsing capitalist products, but I guess that’s the best we can do for now. We’ve also had to settle for the $11k fine instead of sending them to the gulag, but we can work on that. $11k is way too low – most of them could pay that off before they die of old age. Still, things are going in the right leftward direction. Our Marxist totalitarianization of America marches on! All your capitalist bloggers are belong to us! Ha! Ha!”

  19. Kevin Baker Says:

    I thought bloggers were being recognized as journalists and now FTC says youíre all just a bunch of whores. What Iíve seen gun bloggers are about as far from that as you can be.

    (*sigh*) You mean I have to return my new fishnet stockings?

    (I can see the sales of mental floss and brain bleach skyrocketing!) ūüėČ

  20. Ride Fast Says:

    […] Ninny Nanny Nation […]

  21. Mikee Says:

    I don’t blog, but I do comment on several excellent websites.

    Am I about to be hit with this regulation because I comment in public? I have long been of the opinion that MY opinion was protected speech, as long as it was not libelous or otherwise legally defamatory.

    Apparently the desire to promote a chilling effect on free speech is strong with the Obama administration.

    How will the FTC prove you got freebies, anyway, unless a receipt is created by you and the vendor for your freebies, and a registry of freebies is kept by the FTC?

    And do the company-logo coffee mugs that I “borrowed” from a workplace several jobs ago count as a freebie (statute of limitations having been surpassed on the “borrowing”), or were they work related items that allowed me to answer pages 24/7 from the factory technicians?

    When the hoops start looking like they are arranged in an interesting manner, jumping through them is only one option. Going around the hoops is one way to operate. Breaking the hoops into small pieces is another. And ignoring the hoops in civil disobedience might be more fun than anything else.

    Would about 30 or 40 violations of this rule lead to a “cruel and unusual punishment” situation if you were charged for all of them, considering that the rule makes very little sense on its face?

  22. Mikee Says:

    One more thing: can the rule be followed by posting on your website a small notice that any and all reviews or product mentions are your opinion, and that freebies may have been received from the companies at some point in the past? you know, a generic “I may be bribed but I am not biased” sort of statement?

    Because despite the lack of wheelbarrows of money coming my way from the NRA, I still like their work, and despite having gotten zero freebies from Glock, I still own, carry, and like the one gun of theirs that I own. But I have gotten a free poster, several catalogs and even a DVD from gun magazines, gun makers, and accessory makers. So I guess I am as corrupted as can be already.

    Let this be my official statement: I apparently have been bribed via freebies from manufacturers of items I have commented upon (as per the FTC), but I am not to my knowledge biased on the basis of those freebies.

    If any politician can say the same sort of thing about campaign contributors without causing laughter in the audience, I will send back all free catalogs I still have in my possession.

  23. straightarrow Says:

    “So, I guess my civil disobedience isnít all that hardcore.”

    Maybe not, but I love the sentiment.

    This is about nothing else but chilling the informational value of the internet. Anytime soon the FCC will come on board with even more onerous restrictions and fantasy crimes.

    This is about the state taking complete control of everything. Is it Claire Wolfe time yet?

  24. Tom Says:

    # straightarrow Says:

    This is about nothing else but chilling the informational value of the internet.

    Almost like they have a plan to make and keep people dumb or something….

    Is it Claire Wolfe time yet?

    Does the sun rise in the east?

    I can’t wait to go have a look at the latest revenue generating criminals-from-citizens scheme.

    Do the new rules include services? Say, lawyering for ACORN or SEIU shit and a whole bunch of votes?

  25. Rivrdog Says:

    Like several previous commenters said, it’s all about the enforcement, not the rule just yet.

    As to enforcement, in my experience with the US District Court here in Portland, OR, I simply cannot see ANY of the current sitting judges agreeing that this rule fits into the First Amendment.

    My bet, and it’s local to this Judicial District: the first one of these cases that hits a Federal courtroom here get tossed out on it’s ear, and the US Attorney gets told NOT to darken the courthouse door with any more such crap. BTW, my guess is that the first person so fined will have excellent constitutional lawyers standing in line to represent him/her, Pro Bono.

  26. tkdkerry Says:

    How is a blogger mentioning a product considered an ďadvertisementĒ and a print magazine article that mentions a product favorably is not an advertisement?

    This has nothing to do with ads or endorsements. Straightarrow is right, it’s about curtailment of the net.