New FTC disclosure policies
DISCLOSURE: MORE DISCLOSURE COMING
(Thank you to Raging Rouge for the lovely idea above, although admittedly mine might be more jokey than the idea was originally intended)
So by now you may have seen and heard scuttlebutt from bloggers about the new FTC disclosure policies for online (you can read more of the doc by clicking that link…which I AM NOT AFFILIATED WITH).
Basically, including a disclosure at the end of my post letting you know that I received a press sample is not good enough.
The FTC wants me to share this with you at the top of the post, prior to any endorsement or link to the product/company. They want me to disclose that it’s a press sample when I endorse a product.
So I’m going to comply, of course, out of respect for blogging, the brands I work with, and of course, the FTC.
Here’s how I’m going to do it: I’m going to include the same disclosure I usually do at the bottom of my post at the top of my posts, too. I don’t know that I need to clarify after every positive thing I say about a product that it’s a press sample, if I’ve got you covered at the top and bottom of my post. I will make sure to clarify that I’m not affiliated with companies when I link out to them, unless I am, of course.
I will also start adding a disclosure to all my posts – I review products that I’ve purchased or received as a gift from family/friends.
My fear with these disclosures getting more in-depth is that I don’t want you, the reader, to start questioning what I’m doing because you see “press sample” or something similar pop up all over the post. Just because I happen to like something AND it was a press sample, doesn’t mean my review is dishonest. I try to always give my honest opinion, and in fact, giving honest critical feedback has generally been well-received by the companies I work with. So I’m not afraid to be honest, either way.
I don’t mind disclosing that I received a product for free, or that an advertisement is an advertisement. Because you should know. And I even go as far as to clarify what products in my posts are provided for review, specifically, or if they were gifted. I will continue doing so.
If I’m being honest, I do feel like these new rules go to an extreme. I know there are a lot of bloggers that are upset because print is not held to the same standard; why not hold EVERYONE who receives a press sample to the same rules and regulations?
These new rules and policies are effective immediately.
You can see here what these disclosures all mean to beauty bloggers (and other sample-receiving bloggers) through this attorney-beauty blogger’s summary here at Beauty & Fashion Tech.
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