Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You may or may not be aware that the FTC has updated its guidelines to incorporate bloggers and their disclosure of payments for advertising (including product reviews). This is pretty big news in the blog-world, because now all of us who write a blog have to disclose when we are being paid or given product to review for a post.

One big question you may be wondering is "why is this a big deal?" I would like to think that for most of us, it isn't. It's not a big deal to me. I have always disclosed when a company has provided me with product to review. You are getting my *real* opinions on these items and I will only do them if they also provide a giveaway or valuable offer to my readers. Why? Because I tend to think you don't want me shoving reviews of cool stuff I might have received for free unless there's also something cool in it for you. That's just my opinion.

If I do a giveaway where I did not specify where the product came from, you can rest assured that it was mine. Seriously. I've done this. Yes, maybe that is 'small potatoes' to some, but I think it's nice to do sometimes and this is MY blog ;o)

Also, I have never done a post for money. I get offers for these types of posts all the time. Honestly, I've considered doing it, but (to use some church-talk on you) always felt a check in my spirit about it. Run-on sentence alert: It seemed shady to me to get paid a few bucks so that a marketer could get some more traffic back to their site while you sit there and read my posts and think I might actually care about the site I'm promoting when really I just wanted some cash. I'm not bashing anyone who has done this, but it never felt right for me. I actually do participate in the Sponsored Tweets program, where I put out a tweet once in a while (I've done 12 in all of my 836 tweets so far) that is an advertisement. It is clearly marked with some type of disclosure, either by saying it is an "ad" or using the #ad hashtag. If that bothers you, I'd love to hear your opinions.

Now I feel like I might be ranting on a bit too long, but I wanted to put a post up to let you know my thoughts on all of this, and to let you know that I have always been ethical in my blogging. I added the Blog with Integrity button a few weeks back to quietly let people know (among other blog-related beliefs) that I have always chosen to disclose, even before it was mandatory. I'm not trying to be high and mighty by saying all of this either, it was just pressing on my mind. I'm just a girl who likes to share things with a little group of readers she *adores* who lives for simple things like comments (HINT, HINT!) ;o)

If you want to read more on the FTC thing, check out the article on Mashable & elsewhere.


Mel said...

I wonder what the incident was that caused the FTC to do this? I guess it makes sense that somebody has to say if they're being paid to write that they love something because it is possibly false advertisement. I don't think you should take it too personal Bay, it's to protect other people out there. I (obviously) rely a lot on what you say because I trust you, but I might be swayed by a blogger that was lying about something because they were getting paid to if I didn't know any better. Don't take it personal, we all know that you are the honorable Queen Mother!!

Eric said...

You definitely blog with integrity, and I appreciate that! Thanks