Lots of commotion this week. Whether it’s the continuing saga of online advertising revenue or the crackdown on blogger product testimonials, it’s just another day in the world of web publishing.

Cracking Down on Blogger Product Endorsements

Earlier we talked about the FTC and consumer advocacy groups regarding targeted behavioral advertising. However, the Federal Trade Commission is making headlines because it recently decided that bloggers who offer endorsements must disclose any payments they have received from the subjects of their reviews or face penalties of up to US$ 11,000 per violation. 

Why now? Because the FTC hasn’t revisited its policy on endorsements since the Internet was just a series of tubes in someone’s eye. And now, the new rules are an attempt for the FTC to make corporate payments to bloggers, research firms and celebrities that help promote a product more transparent. If anything, it attempts to show that the FTC is catching onto the power of influence the Internet has over us.

Enforcing the policy is another story, however. A possible bloggers’ union, perhaps? We’ll save that story for another day...

Search Revenues Find Itself in the Lead

The IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers survey reveals that online advertising revenues saw a 5.3% decline in the U.S. in the first half of 2009 over the same period in 2008. The worldwide decline in ad revenues among four largest web companies was at 3.4% during the same period.

Among other highlights, search accounts for nearly half of all Internet advertising revenues (US$ 5.1 billion). It was up 3% from 2008, with revenue from display ads, classified listings, lead generation and e-mail following behind.

Also, digital video jumped from 3% to 4% in the first half of 2009, equaling to to US$ 477 million in revenue.