Got an email today from Clickbooth announcing their new policy against fake blogs (flogs). I suspect that this move may be led by a desire to reduce their legal liability for fraudulent marketing practices, but regardless of the intent, I applaud them for being ahead of the curve on this.

By the way, I was disappointed that no one seemed to pick up the fact that my most recent post – dated at midnight on April 1st – was a collection of fake-fake blogs!

Here’s the complete posting from Clickbooth:

Blog/Review sites guidelines Clickbooth does not allow Fake blogs, FLOGS or fake review sites as a marketing method, publishers taking part in these activities will have their accounts terminated immediately. All Blog and Review webistes must comply with the following:
  • Each such Publisher Website must contain distinct and legitimate content, substance and material.
  • Each such Publisher Website must not contain information that is misleading or deceiving
  • The Content appearing on each such Publisher Website must be entirely an accurate representation that is truthful and verifiable.
  • Any testimonials appearing on such Publisher Websites must be accurate, truthful, verifiable and from individuals that have given their permission for such testimonials to be used by the Publisher in the manner so used on the applicable Publisher Websites.
  • Where You have paid an individual for the use of his/her testimonial, that fact must be disclosed, prominently, on the applicable Publisher Website immediately below or adjacent to the subject testimonial.
  • Blog created solely to advertise one or two specific products are not allowed
  • You Cannot use the word “Free,” or “Complimentary” or other similar terms in connection with marketing any Advertiser products/services does not state such language without the prior express written consent of Clickbooth.
  • Must post a privacy policy on any and all website(s), landing page(s), confirmation page(s) and/or other web page(s) upon which you collect consumer information in connection with a Search Marketing Program. The privacy policy must comply with all federal and state privacy laws and meet the test of reasonable commercial best practices applicable to privacy policies. Your data protection, use and privacy practices must adhere to Your applicable privacy policy, in both letter and in spirit, in all respects and with no exceptions. The privacy policy must be available for viewing via a clickable link. Such link must include the term “privacy” or “privacy policy.
  • Website cannot: (1) utilize any copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other similar intellectual property right of any third party without their prior written consent; (2) otherwise violate or breach any duty toward, or rights of, any person or entity including, without limitation, rights of privacy and publicity; or (3) must not result in any consumer fraud, product liability or breach of contract to which You are a party.
  • Each such Publisher Website must contain a clearly worded disclaimer disclosing the fact that the proprietor of the Website has a commercial relationship whereby it receives compensation for referrals that result in sales of the product(s) featured on the Website.
  • Review websites must disclose review process and steps taken to ensure a fair review
  • Each such Publisher Website Must have disclaimers for images that do not represent the consumer that is portrayed
  • Each such Publisher Website Must have disclaimer for use of celebrity or trademarked logos
  • Each such Publisher Website Must have disclaimers for substantiated claims
  • Links to products must have an asterisk leading to a disclaimer that discloses affiliations and compensation
  • Each such Publisher Website Must disclose fact that products were tested
  • IP address of user comments must be retained and verified for authenticity.
  • Any search engine copy used to drive users to website must be accurate and cannot mislead or deceive users
  • Each such Publisher must otherwise comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, as well as the terms and conditions of the Clickbooth Publisher Agreement and any and all additional Clickbooth Acceptable Use Policies, and other applicable agreements, operating rules and/or documents.

Clickbooth will ensure Blog and Review websites comply with these guidelines by reserving the right to review each such Publisher Website randomly for compliance. At Clickbooth’s request publisher must provide copy of Driver License or other form of Government ID of consumer depicted on website as well as confirm or authenticate facts stated on website. Publisher must respond satisfactorily within 5 business days of an audit or account will be terminated.


  1. Mark Pommett April 4th, 2009

    This is stupid on their part. Publishers will leave in droves.

  2. Anonymous April 5th, 2009

    yeah, right, publishers are going to put their ID’s on their blogs. come on, please.

  3. Steve April 5th, 2009

    I agree, David. As long as they don’t put too much effort into fully enforcing it, this policy creates a liability shield that makes it easy both to deny responsibility for fraud and to shut down egregious offenders more or less at their discretion.On a related topic, like Clickbooth I am trying to lead an important social movement – in my case I am trying to lead the fight against Twitter. If you or any of your readers have advice on how to garner kudos for this important work, drop me a note.

  4. David Rodnitzky April 6th, 2009

    Flogs – at least as we know them – are dead. ClickBooth is just ahead of the times.Steve, if you could twitter your concerns about Twitter, I would appreciate it – after 140 characters, I stopped reading.

  5. Eric Clickbooth April 16th, 2009

    Thanks for the support David! :-)

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David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky is founder and CEO of 3Q Digital (formerly PPC Associates), a position he has held since the Company's inception in 2008. Prior to 3Q Digital, he held senior marketing roles at several Internet companies, including (2000-2001), FindLaw (2001-2004), Adteractive (2004-2006), and Mercantila (2007-2008). David currently serves on advisory boards for several companies, including Marin Software, MediaBoost, Mediacause, and a stealth travel start-up. David is a regular speaker at major digital marketing conferences and has contributed to numerous influential publications, including Venture Capital Journal, CNN Radio, Newsweek, Advertising Age, and NPR's Marketplace. David has a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. with honors from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, David enjoys salmon fishing, hiking, spending time with his family, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, not necessarily in that order.