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in the interest of full disclosure (fcc mandated post)

with 5 comments

Joshua Line queries below why I eat / drink in chain restaurants. I do talk an awful lot about doing it, don’t I?

Well, the NYT reports today:

On Monday, the F.T.C. said it would revise rules about endorsements and testimonials in advertising that had been in place since 1980. The new regulations are aimed at the rapidly shifting new-media world and how advertisers are using bloggers and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to pitch their wares.

The F.T.C. said that beginning on Dec. 1, bloggers who review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including, in most cases, the receipt of free products and whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers, as occurs frequently. The new rules also take aim at celebrities, who will now need to disclose any ties to companies, should they promote products on a talk show or on Twitter. A second major change, which was not aimed specifically at bloggers or social media, was to eliminate the ability of advertisers to gush about results that differ from what is typical — for instance, from a weight loss supplement.

Given this, perhaps it’s the right time to have a little Letterman-esque chat with my readers. No! I’ve not had inappropriate relations with Starbucks employees in return for my constant stream of plugs for their coffee establishments on my blog! But there is a deal in place – a speechless, contractless deal, one that all parties involved know is in durable effect, even though no papers have been signed, no handshakes enthusiastically shook.

The deal is this. I sit in their establishments blogging the delights of, well, blogging in their establishments . In return, I am permitted to use the toilets, whenever I like, and without buying anything at all. Sure, everyone does this already. But when I do it, I don’t need to creep to the back or pretend first to be in the queue to buy coffee.

The deal is only in effect at the Tottenham Court Road, Brunswick Centre, and Tavistock Square outlets.

At any rate, I just thought all of you should know. I’ve run afoul of so many things lately – seems sensible not to offend the august forces of the FCC too.

Written by adswithoutproducts

October 6, 2009 at 11:13 am

5 Responses

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  1. You sit in Starbucks and work but don’t buy anything? I could never be so brazen. Plus, I like hot chocolate.

    The Starbucks in the Brunswick has got to be the worst Starbucks ever. I love the one in Tavistock. That one’s my favorite. I used to go there all the time, but I don’t have any time to write anymore. Too much teaching. So long PhD!


    October 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm

  2. No! I don’t sit there. I wee there! I’d never be so brazen as to do that. And you’re right about the Brunswick Centre / Tavistock Square comparison.


    October 7, 2009 at 9:51 am

  3. i still don’t get the starbucks thing, the caffe nero’s on TCR serve better coffee and you can get to italia uno – with even better coffee – fairly quickly too (though i don’t think they have wi-fi).


    October 7, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    • It really is a matter of what the French call fadeur. Insipidty. I like my coffeeplaces really, really insipid. Almost monstrously banal.


      October 7, 2009 at 7:24 pm

  4. ah, ok then. might this be a geographical thing? I always seem to enjoy Starbucks more in the states, where the shops feel even more insipid than those over here even though they’re pretty much exactly the same.


    October 8, 2009 at 8:26 am

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