Wednesday, October 07, 2009

When Worlds Collide - An Editorial Policy Statement

I don't like to get into specifics about my *real* job for obvious reasons (snoozefest!)(also, laughed out of office!)(also, fired!) but Monday, my worlds collided.

The Federal Trade Commission released revised guidelines governing endorsements and testimonials which covers, among other things, bloggers.

So, I thought I'd take a sec out of my regular blogging programming to fill you in on my editorial policy.

Paid Endorsements: I don't accept payment for anything I write. There are no sponsored posts and I do not get paid to endorse or write about anything on this blog.

Advertisements: Currently, I do not have any paid ads on my site. I think. Well, I certainly don't get any money for any ads that are on my site.

Products: Approximately 76% of what I write on this blog is true and are my own experiences. The other 24% is comprised of press information, things I have heard from other bloggers or read in magazines, or lies I tell you to cover up what a bumbling idiot I can be sometimes.

I know, right? I already seem like a a total spaz, how could it be worse, you ask? Oh, you just haven't met me in person. TOTAL. SPAZ.

Now, I always try to let you know when something here is not me-generated. Trust me, it will look like a press release. I am well versed in the art of cutting and pasting.

I will always say that I read about something somewhere and it sounded cool, but I haven't tried it. Sometimes I say I want to buy something but then don't, mostly because I get lazy and forget, other times because I realize that my husband would get mad at me if I squandered our rent money on nail polish and curling irons.

Here's where it gets sticky: free products.

Bottom line, I get them.

And I write about them.

But I never say that I bought something I didn't and I would never feel obligated to write something nice if it weren't true and I don't write about something I don't want to tell all of you about.

To be totally honest, most of time, I just buy the stuff myself. If I want it, I just go get it. Mostly because I just get impatient. Hell, I can barely order stuff online because the instant gratification factor is so low.

In light of the new guidelines, from now on, I will add a clear disclaimer to any post about a freebie product to indicate that I received it for free.

As a lawyer and someone who makes a living working on regulations, I could engage in a long debate as to whether the FTC rules appropriately balance the speech interests of bloggers with the need to protect the public from false and misleading testimonials. I think there are some serious concerns (I mean, seriously? Do magazine editors have to disclose that they haven't paid for a beauty product since the dawn of time?) but I will comply.

As a fickle and temperamental person, I reserve the right to change this policy if the need arises.


Dianne said...

hilarious - I am a tax attorney, so I spend a fair amount of time on regulations (or, rather, arguing against them!) . . . anyway, your post made me laugh out loud because I so analyze these things in the same way! You just share it much more articulately!
love your blog.

Lys said...

I need to go through EVERY post on my sites to make them "FTC Compliant". Oy to the vey - I don't know how you guys handle the regulations end of things. *sigh*

Blogger said...

You can earn $20 for a 20 minute survey!

Guess what? This is exactly what big companies are paying me for. They need to know what their average customer needs and wants. So large companies pay millions of dollars each month to the average person. In return, the average person, like me, answers some questions and gives them their opinion.