As blogs proliferate across the web, questions will
arise about how a blogger should disclose relationships
with people or companies about which they write. A
The Wall Street Journal about Spanish
tech start-up FON illustrates this dilemma.
FON Technology SL recently received a major funding
round from Google and Skype. The company has a nine
member advisory board, and most of them have their own
Many of the advisory board members have posted
information about FON on their blogs, in some cases
disclosing that they were being paid by the company as
advisors, and in other cases disclosing that they were
on the advisory board but not mentioning any
compensation. The issue is further clouded because none
of the members have yet received compensation, and their
packages have yet to be defined.
This gray area is more difficult to gauge than simpler
cases of imprudent PR, such as hiring journalists to
write “independent” articles or editing news releases
when posting them to their website.
The best way to approach the situation is to constantly
disclose any relationships one has with a company.
Whether pitching a blogger, writing a blog of your own,
or talking with a blogger on the phone, always make sure
that any relationships are disclosed.