How the FTC's Endorsement Rules Unfairly Favor Celebrities

A few weeks ago, I reported on actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who appeared to have violated new Federal Trade Commission guidelines by endorsing a hotel she'd stayed at without disclosing what sort of compensation, in the form of cash or freebies, she'd received from the hotel. At the time, I was unable to get a hold of Rich Cleland, who, as associate director of the FTC's advertising division, has taken the point on explaining the guidelines to reporters like me. But Cleland and I spoke Wednesday, and he had some very interesting -- and potentially controversial -- things to say.