Handpicked rapped by OFT

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The Independent Online

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has rapped a commercial blogging network, after it breached rules governing unfair trading by not disclosing which posts were sponsored.

Handpicked Media, which operates a series of niche websites and blogs, has signed undertakings that its bloggers will prominently disclose any promotional activity "in a manner unavoidable to the average consumer," the regulator said.

This is the first time the OFT has taken such enforcement action and the ruling will cover blogs, individual posts as well as comments on micro-blogging site Twitter.

The regulator said its ruling confirmed its view that online advertising and marketing that do not disclose paid-for promotions "are deceptive under fair trading laws".