The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) looked into the recent blogger event hosted by Ann Taylor Loft, to see if it ran afoul of the federal agency's new disclosure guidelines, but did not punish the clothing retailer.
The January event caused controversy when bloggers who attended and wrote about the event were given gift cards to the store. Advertising Age reported that the FTC told Ann Taylor that " following an investigation, it has decided not to take action against the women's retailer over an event held earlier this year."But marketers are taking notice that the FTC did investigate the incident. The article continued:
Although the agency decided not to take action against Ann Taylor, the case serves to let marketers know that the FTC is keeping a close eye on their interactions with bloggers.Going forward, will the FTC only follow up with instances that get covered in the mainstream media and other blogs? Will we have to rely on Jezebel to sniff out future infractions?
"This tells me that [the FTC] is looking, and that's important to know," said Douglas Wood, an attorney and head of Reed Smith's Media and Entertainment Industry Group. "They're probably throwing a little fire-starter into it, sending some messages out. The message this time is somewhere between $50 and $500 requires a disclosure."