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Product Review Policy and FTC-Required Disclosure

The FTC established new rules effective Dec. 1, 2009, that mandate that bloggers like PalmBeachBikeTours must disclose whether they received review products for free or received monetary payment for such reviews.

We’ve done that since the very start, so you won’t see anything change.

Products provided by vendors will be clearly identified

I buy most of the products I write about; some are loaned to me, some are provided for free by a vendor. If I don’t mention the source, you may assume that I wrote a check for it myself. Any “freebie” will be clearly identified in the story.

Vendors who provide stuff for review are, obviously, hoping for a favorable one. Sometimes they’ve been disappointed. I don’t go out of my way to dwell on the negative, but I will pick nits where appropriate.

Sending me something does not guarantee a review.

Affiliate advertising and links

I have affiliate relationships with a number of vendors, including Amazon, Google, Performance Bicycle and others.

Sometimes I will embed a link to a vendor site. If it’s one of my affiliates, I get a few pennies if you click on the link to check it out; if you actually buy the product, then I get a small percentage of the sale.

I don’t make a lot of money on clicks. I put them in as a service to readers, who may want more information about the product that I want to write; it’s also a convenience to a reader who may want to know where he or she can find the item.

Many of my links go to vendors with whom I don’t have an affiliate relationship. They are companies I’ve dealt with and found to be good people and / or they carry specialty products.

I would encourage readers to do their own vendor search, particularly if you are looking for the best price. From an administrative standpoint, Amazon is the easiest for me to link to; they have a wide variety of goods and a generally good reputation. They may not always be the least expensive.

Advertising sponsors

Sometime in the future I am going to seek advertising sponsors. Blogging is fun, but it’s also a lot more time-consuming than I thought it would be. It would be nice to see something coming in to offset the hit my 401K took.

There will be no link between advertising and editorial content. Buying an ad will not insure favorable reviews or mention.

I spent most of my life working for newspapers in an era where there was a sharp division between the editorial and advertising staffs. I couldn’t be bought then and I won’t be bought now.

If you have questions, contact me at ken@pbbt.org