Forget Blogger Payola; Consider Ad Networks

Readers should know when bloggers are compensated by companies with freebies, such as gift cards, trips and computers, according to Jonah Stein and Jonathan Hochman. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced blogger guidelines that require they disclose financial interests.

But it's not the bloggers that need the guidelines, but the ad networks, writes Stein and Hochman. In an open letter to the networks, Stein and Hochman suggest building a rating system to share relevant click volume and user feedback. Networks have achieved the scale that makes them efficient for legitimate advertisers to reach millions of consumers - but also makes them ideal for scams.

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