What Do The New FTC Rules Regarding Bloggers Mean For Gouldylox Reviews?

As you have probably heard, as of December 1, 2009, new FTC guidelines will be in place to protect consumers from deceitful advertising practices. I work in advertising by day (I'm a television ad producer) and think these are important distinctions. At my day job, we take great care to make sure that all statements we make are true and not misleading in anyway. We are required to file statements with television stations before the spots ever air to make sure the claims we make are true. We even have to be careful when deciding on wardrobe for the talent. Did you know advertisers are prohibited from showing pharmacists in white coats?

In the blogosphere, people write for fun and say what they want. This can become misleading when a blogger writes positive things about a product because they were paid or received the product for free. Advertising, like the music industry, is changing and new rules need to be created to address this. It's not one or two bloggers ruining a good thing. It's about being honest in a business where everyone is urged to bend the truth.

Somewhere, someone may be getting a huge payday, free trips and is drowning in free product. It's not me. To date, my google adsense ads have earned me less than $100 and my sponsored ads (the pretty logo ones) haven't earned me enough to warrant cutting a check. I do get cool opportunities to meet people and find out what is coming out next season, but otherwise, I spend a lot of time in front of my computer and mirror, playing with products.

While I do receive some product for the purpose of reviewing it, I personally spend way too much on cosmetics and am on a first name basis with almost everyone that sells makeup in a 25 mile radius of my house. I also spend a lot of time making myself at home at my local Sephora, playing with a pile of product and taking pictures at the store. (And digging in the understock, which they hate. Please accept my on-going apologies for that one.)

To be honest, I sometimes struggle with what to say in a post. I don't like to give a bad review to some items because my lemons might be your lemonade. If something isn't my cup of tea, I try to write about how it might work for you. Most times, I choose not to write about the product if I really dislike it. Because I love cosmetics, I don't look for the negatives, I look for the positives. I don't want to read about someone's experiences who trash everything and I doubt you do either. Even if someone did send me the product, that doesn't mean I am going to give it a glowing review.

I also try to include a lot about how these products fit into my life and go way beyond a press release. Makeup and my quest for beauty perfection has played a huge and usually humorous part in my life since I was old enough to sneak eyeliner on to the school bus. I hope my unusual slant on things makes my blog fun to read, even if you aren't that into cosmetics.

So what do the new rules mean for Gouldylox Reviews Readers? Not much. I do have sponsored ads on my page and I may one day reach the mark that warrants them sending a check. Either way, that doesn't influence my opinion of the brand featured on the banner ad. I do not accept payment for posting. I don't know if I know anyone that does accept payment who isn't a professional beauty writer. I do get free product and I don't send it back. I like playing with and writing about cosmetics. I always have and I probably always will.

Will the new FTC rules change how you use blogs? Tell me in the comments!
If you have questions about any story on my blog, please don't hesitate to ask.


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CONVERSATION

2 Comments:

  1. I like reading if a product hasn't lived up to expectations. I don't know what you've tried unless I read it on your blog. If you have a lemon and I've bought it, then your blog hasn't been helpful to me. Just my opinion but I'd like the good and the bad and everything in between.

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  2. If something doesn't work for me because I have dry skin, I'll explain that. If something is just lame and doomed to fail, I won't write about it at all. That said, if something is supposed to be the next greatest thing and it isn't, then I will tell you. I'm not about only writing positives, but I don't like to destroy an item. I'd rather just not give it the time. From time to time, I do write posts about products that didn't work for me at all, but I try to explain why they didn't work.

    There is a trend in blogs to dislike everything without seeing how it might work for someone else. That isn't my blog. If the product does nothing but fail, then I won't write about it at all.

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