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September 14, 2009

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g14matthew.wordpress.com

John, it looks like you are not only putting out possible best practice guidelines for brands, but for bloggers too. Which is good, because it seems to me like bloggers have the larger responsibility about being honest about their relationships with brands.

Brands will always engage opportunities that allow them to connect with influential people and media and broadcast their message to an audience they may not have previously reached before, right? Bloggers have pre-established trust with their audiences and they'll be the ones nailed to the credibility cross if people find out they are shilling a brand or product and not being honest about it. What might reflect somewhat poorly on the brand reflects worse on the established blogger who tries to hide things.

I think that the Influencer Agreement is a great starting point for this kind of honesty. I'm curious, do you feel like most bloggers will be open to the idea of following a set of rules created by the same brand that wants that blogger to talk about them? Even if they are a set of rules that say "be honest about your opinion and honest about the fact that we've engaged you to do this"? Do you feel that this can quickly become a slippery slope where a brand's legal department dictates more and more how a blogger can communicate about a brand?

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