MoneySavingExpert, a British personal finance site with 5 million readers, was forced to hand over personal details about three users calling themselves Againstjpc, GomerPyle and Ladybirds, following a London court ruling in August. The three wrote comments on the website accusing JPC Group Sales Ltd., an affiliate of a U.K. publishing company, of being a “criminal enterprise” and “a scam,” the company said in court filings.

Source: Businessweek

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Insiders View is not the only blog arguing about editorial. Techcrunch is talking about it too.  Michael Arrington who founded Techrunch in 2005 and sold it to AOL last year is having an argument with among others Arianna Huffington and Tim Armstrong of AOL about editorial.

What I always think is missing from these arguments is what the law has to say about any of this.  Surprising because Arrington is a lawyer by training.

Then again he’s always been careful to say he’s not a journalist, not like his counterpart at Techcrunch Europe Mike Butcher who says he is “press”.

Here’s a stab at a definition of what editorial is legally speaking written by the advertiser’s self regulator the Advertising Standards Authority in a letter to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) during a consultation over advertising of formula milk. The FSA and ASA were arguing about who controlled messages about formula milk. They both wanted as much control as possible for different reasons.

It references European law implemented into UK law in the  Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and it addresses exactly what is marketing communication and what is editorial communication.

3.3 The FSA’s broad definition appears to capture editorial content or communications that are not disseminated and/ or paid for by the manufacturer of formula milks or their agents (e.g. an advertising agency or retailer). European law very clearly considers that what constitutes an advertisement is restricted to materials disseminated by or on behalf of a commercial (trade or professional) interest. The FSA’s definition currently appears to capture editorial content (e.g. material disseminated by journalists and TV and radio programme makers) and even communications between individuals.

The essential components according to the ASA’s interpretation of the law are:

  • Marketers are prevented by law from paying for it
  • It goes through the hands of an editor working for an organisation recognised as being in the business of editorial.

What do you think?

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We’ve seen an increase in, what-used-to-be reputable blogs, publishing paid content. Why are they doing this and what does it mean?

Surely it devalues the customer? How cheap does it make them look?

More often than not, these blogs are SEO blogs that should know better!

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According to data from ABTA, the Association of British Travel Agents, 20% of Brits travel without insurance. This isn’t just because people are trying to cut costs, although this is part of the issue. But one of the main problems is lack of understanding. Many people believe the government, through the Foreign Office and NHS, will come to the rescue and the hospital and treatment costs will be covered. [click to continue…]

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Insuring your home against damage and loss is incredibly important; otherwise you could run the risk of losing everything. Whether you’re renting, sharing or even buying your first home you should always be sure of what insurance you need. Everyone knows that home insurance is split into buildings and contents categories, but you might not know exactly what will and will not be covered. Here’s a little guide to home insurance. [click to continue…]

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Consumer websites sign up subscribers by offering access to free guides

Daily deal websites ask for email addresses for access







Website owners have been told they must decide how they are going to comply with a change in the law concerning cookies.

The new law requires a user’s consent to place cookies on their device and comes into force on 26th May 2011. The enforcer is the Information Commissioner’s Office. It has issued guidance. [click to continue…]

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Moneysupermarket have started to release data on their enormous mine of information. Finally. There is a world of opportunity for some of these larger companies to use this data for good use. A few examples:

  • Infographics
  • Social Media expression
  • Data points for the media and journalists
  • Indices such as the AA Index
  • Provision to research houses in the insurance and autombile sector

We’ve ‘acquired’ a data set of our own so, here’s our data on the UK insurance industry for comparison. [click to continue…]

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Affiliate marketers say we love voucher websites but Google says not. It has downgraded 10 voucher websites in its UK organic search results,  according to data published by Search Metrics. [click to continue…]

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A few highlights from the motor insurance marketplace in 2009 – a look back

  • The private motor market shrunk slightly in 2009
  • The total market declined by 1% to 9.2 billion GWP
  • Claims frequency fell slightly to 16.7% in 2009
  • RBS Group is the largest provider of car insurance in the UK
  • Lloyds Banking Group is no longer in the market [click to continue…]

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Whilst domain names are still changing hands in record numbers (including the latest which sold for $440,000 to the owner of, the world’s most expensive domain has launched. [click to continue…]

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