Discoure policy (I am putting this first to satisfy the FTC ruling): I am required by the Federal Trade Commission of the United States, to tell you that for the most part, I use provided samples provided by a company or public relations firm, for most of my reviews. Now, the FTC is requiring that I disclose that I received these samples “for free” and therefore they are considered paid endorsements and advertising. They would like me to put this at the top of every article I write. While I find the new ruling insulting to me and my high standards and ethics, and to you as savvy readers, sample products and services are not nearly “compensation” for the tremendous amount of effort it takes to write genuine reviews, nor do free samples influence my experienced opinion of products in any Advice Sisters content. Very infrequently, and usually only for a good cause, I’ll post advertorial that is clearly marked as such. All paid advertisements, are also clearly identifiable as advertising. This has always been my policy, way before a government agency forced me to “regulate” my statement of disclosure.
The FTC may insist in their new ruling that free samples are compensation, and therefore if I say something nice about a product or service, it might be simply because I was “compensated” to say so. But you already know that I have never been swayed by a free lipstick, or a glass of wine, or any other free service or product. There is no way I could provide you, my readers, with daily original editorial content and write valid, responsible, up-close-and-personal reviews without assistance from public relations firms and companies. If I had to shell out my own money for every lipstick or glass of wine I have ever evaluated, in the thousands of items, I would literally, go broke! Please re-read my statement about the amount of time and effort I put into writing for free and then ask yourself: “would I write articles for a nail polish, a lipstick, or a few other samples?”
The new ruling affects online and not print. But print editors often receive not just a lipstick, but expensive gifts, trips, etc. along with those samples. They are not bound to disclose as I now am required to do. I feel bad that the government feels you are so dim you might be “fooled” by some blogger who writes nice things for pay, but after many, many years online, my readers know I would never do the same. So, for now, I’m updating this disclosure but I am not adding it to every single link or post. Please tell the government that you are smart enough to read a post and see “brought to you by” or “sponsored” or “paid advertisment” and understand what that means.
Privacy: I am a real person, not an avatar, or a ghost writer for a corporation. I believe in protecting your privacy as I would wish others protect mine. It is of the utmost importance. I stake my good reputation on it. I never broadcast personal information, or sell or share it with anyone. I am careful about the advertisers I work with, and expect them to respect and operate within my policies. This is my personal pledge to you.
Safety: The net is not anonymous, and what you fire off online without hesitation could be there forever. Please partner with me to protect everyone’s safety. There are real people with real feelings on the other side of your computer screen. Be responsible. Any kind of harassment, malicious, inflammatory, or pornographic comments or other materials, are not acceptable on my web site. Neither are spam or self-serving rants (you already know this).
Advice: The advicesisters has a sterling reputation. However, most of what is here is personal option and sometimes, you might not agree with it. If that’s the case you are free to comment, (just do so responsibly and appropriately). If you are unhappy about something, please contact me and I will do my best to assist you. I do read all my mail, and I welcome constructive comments. While I cannot respond personally to requests for free, private advice, I do offer advice services by email for a modest fee. Please click here to learn more.
Copyright Information: The Advice Sisters is a U.S. Registered Trademark. All rights to content: text, graphics, photos and video, whether found directly on The Advice Sisters web properties, or on a blog feed, or elsewhere, are the intellectual property of The Advice Sisters and Alison Blackman Dunham. I will protect my rights vigorously with every measure possible, and I take violations very seriously.
If you want to use something, do it legally by offering compensation and getting permission. Re-publication without permission may result in billing for use of the material. In addition, The Advice Sisters can, and will take any action necessary, and also make a formal notification of any violation to hosts and advertisers under the Millennium Copyright Act.