The image above is inspired by several other bloggers who have voiced their opinions about this issue. Credit goes to Gouldylox Reviews. I believe she was the first to do a photo like this. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong!)
I've been very open and honest with my readers about whether or not I have been sent a product from a company for review. I spent a vast majority of my first year of blogging with ONLY products I purchased myself, traded with friends to get and/or received as gifts. It was tough, it was lonely sometimes, and it felt like no one liked me. But even then, I had a small disclosure at the bottom of my post:
**DISCLAIMER** I was not paid for this review by anyone. I either purchased these products myself or were given gifts from friends . I am not a professional nail tech or make-up artist, nor do I want to be. I'm just someone who enjoys polishing my own nails and experimenting with make-up! :)
As my blog grew, and I started having relationships with companies, and I started getting samples of products for review on the blog, I debuted a second disclaimer:
DISCLAIMER: Some products used in this post were provided to me by the company for consideration. This blog is written and edited by me, and the opinions are not influenced in any way and are not compensated. I am not a professional nail tech, nor do I have any formal training in nail care. I'm just someone who likes to polish her nails :) Please read this post for more information.
The FTC has decided that this is no longer enough. They have decided with their new guidelines, passed March 12, 2013, It is now required that I disclose at the beginning of my post. And in the middle. And at the end. What? Yes. They want to make sure that blog readers don't click on links, or go away from the post before reading that the blogger has received said items for review.
So what does this mean? It means I will be putting a generic line of text at the beginning of every post where I have been provided a sample for review. It means I will state multiple times in my posts (or as I see fit) that I've received the product for review. Annoying huh? More importantly, it makes me feel a variety of emotions.
1. It makes me feel like the FTC thinks my blog readers are dumb, like they have to be talked down to and treated like children. I absolutely do not think of my readers that way - you guys know your way around blogs and can most certainly pick up on things yourself. Especially my orange disclaimer!
2. It makes me feel like they think I've lied. As I mentioned before, I've always been honest - in what I've received for review, what I've purchased myself, and what I felt about those things. If I didn't like the product, or the product didn't work for me, I mention that. I don't pretend to like things just because a company sent them to me for review.
I hope this update is the last one for a long time. But rest assured, I will ALWAYS be honest and open about what I review and how I received it.
Here are some other bloggers who have shared their thoughts on the subject:
Phyrra – Update to the FTC on Disclosures
Raging Rouge – FTC Updates Disclosure Regulations Online
Beauty & Fashion Tech – For Bloggers: How to Comply With The New FTC Guidance on Disclosing Products Provided For Review
Beauty & Fashion Tech – For Bloggers: How To Make Disclosure Buttons For WordPress
Gouldylox Reviews – Full Disclosure
Beauty Info Zone – Our Policies and the new FTC Disclosure rules
15 Minute Beauty Fanatic – New Disclosures on 15 Minute Beauty
Pink Sith – FTC Update and Disclaimer
The Fabzilla – Changes
Beyond Beauty Lounge - What is all this FTC Disclosure Chatter anyway?
Polish Galore – FTC Updates to Disclosure Regulations
Vampy Varnish – Boring Ole FTC
Midnight Manicures – FTC Guidelines for Bloggers and How
Painted Ladies – New FTC Guidelines
Primed & Polished – Update to FTC
Portrait of Mai – Google Reader & FTC Disclosure Changes
Pammy's Beauty Blog - FTC Updates and Full Disclosure