16 Oct, 2009
If honesty wasn’t the best policy, I would have declared myself a pro-snowboarder hucking 1600’s long ago but fortunately for me the honesty of being your average rider has taken me a lot farther than lies could ever have. Recently the FTC announced that “bloggers must disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products” among other guidelines. While I might not be reviewing brand new cars or cameras…I do a lot of snowboarding product reviews each season that I’ve come to realize are the bread and butter of this site.
When it comes to reviews on this site, you will never see a paid review where a company pays me to have that review on here. Every product that goes through my hands and ends up in written form is something I’m interested in and want to try (or also requested by you guys). Receiving a free product doesn’t guarantee a review nor does it mean the review will be good…it will be honest and it’s up to that company to decide if the risk is worth it. Fortunately for me, demo days are the days where I spent the most time reviewing products and there’s no risk involved in borrowing a board for a couple hours.
In the past I’ve used words to describe how I acquire the products, usually I say “given, borrowed/demoed, bought or received” but this season that will be more noticeable to make sure I’m complying with the FTC Guidelines. At the each of every review in the bottom I will state very clearly the nature of the product in my hands.
So for example when I review the Capita Ultrafear FK this year, it will say that I was given that product by Capita (because I was given and plan to keep it). In the case of my Burton malolo/Burton Scribe that was a trade for advertisement and I received that product for advertising space. At a snowboarding demo or when a company lets me borrow a snowboard and I send it back, it will be very clear that I did not keep the product. When it comes to snowboard dvds, I clearly bought those.
I’m all for the new FTC rules, bloggers should be accountable for making it very clear when their writing is paid editorial or not. While snowboarding bloggers aren’t like mommy bloggers who can make an income and life from blogging, we should certainly be held to the same standards of keeping our reviews honest and upfront with where products come from.