You might have heard that there is a kerfuffle brewing with regards to the FTC regulating bloggers and their pay to post items. Now, I don’t get paid to write what I do, even tho I have been offered money to be added to my blog roll (which I don’t do, because my blog roll is full of people’s sites I *actually* read.). I write these entries because I want to, because I think I have things to say and, apparently, some people actually find it interesting.
Now, I think you guys are smart enough to know that I couldn’t possible afford everything I write about – no review site can, be it beauty, or electronics or whatever gets reviewed. It’s just not feasible. This is where companies come in, esp with blogger relations. They are finding that word of mouth, and personal feedback, helps them market their products. It’s cheaper to send out 30+ lippys and get responses than to buy a full page ad in Allure – AND get instant feedback, as opposed to lead times and newstand sales. All of this in my opinion, of course. They also send out these samples without the guarantee of positive reviews. Lemme give you a quote from Kerry Diamond, Vice President, Public Relations & Communications, Lancôme:
“We have never expected any quid pro quo for sending product or samples.
We appreciate not only your honesty, but that of the readers who post on your
sites.” “We understand that when we send out product, we open ourselves up
to honest reviews.”
So, yeah. Okay, I’ll make this simple. Here’s a tip: If I say “I had a chance to try”, that’s a tip off that I was sent a sample. If I say, “I bought this at Walmart/Target/CVS/Walgreen/the Mall/QVC/online/etc., I bought it myself. Simple? Yes, I know I am watering it down and making light of something that has the potential to be ugly, but, I’m just saying, I’m pretty open with you guys. And, really, if Apple wants to give me a laptop to take on a trip provided by the Australian Tourism board that Qantas is giving me tix to fly 1st class on, you can damn well bet I’m taking that trip and I’ll def let you guys hear all about it. And, if you want more disclosure, let me know – ya’ll know I’m not too shy about things.
*Update: Hey, I forgot that sometimes I am just given stuff without any expectation of it getting reviewed, like when I get a gift bag or something like that. In that case, I’ll say something like “I was given/gifted this” – that way you know I didn’t pay for it, but it wasn’t nescessarily given for review, okay?