Sunday, March 17, 2013
I've had problems with the boot. First, I dropped it (accidentally, of course) on my barefoot right foot, leaving it swollen, black, and blue. Second, I can't walk well. It's throwing off my right knee (which I twisted badly yesterday while wearing the boot), my bad back, and my right hip. I have no shoes that will raise my other foot to the same level the boot does, so I'm stuck hobbling around until a pair of orthopedic walking shoes I ordered from Zappos arrives.
About five years ago, when I had a stress fracture in my left foot, my orthopedic surgeon told me to wear athletic shoes for the duration, and it did heal after about three months. I may have to resort to his old advice.
.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising. You would think the sky had fallen. Beauty bloggers are having conniptions about the ways the FTC suggests they must disclose gratis products (free), sponsored posts (advertising - remember what I told you recently?), and affiliate links clearly and conspicuously.
The FTC wants digital sites to make perfectly clear that the product being reviewed was received for free. The agency assumes (as I often do) that a glowing review was provided in trade for the free product. I think it's about time the FTC weighed in and clarified their expectations. My only regret is that they did not extend their guidelines to magazines. If you think Allure purchases what it glowingly features, think again.
The FTC make it clear that it's not adequate to leave a small print statement, such as "This product was provided for editorial consideration," at the bottom of a review. They want it disclosed in the review right away, and they want it equal in size to the content of the post. I have always tried to disclose early in my features (as long as I could make it flow) and will try even harder going forward. I have never resorted to the "editorial consideration" lingo because I believe the product was sent to me with an implicit expectation of a review. No one sending me free products expect me to enjoy them and "consider" reviewing them. I'm not that naive.
The FTC particularly does not approve of a disclosures section that says something like, "From time to time, companies send me products for free, but I always review them honestly." That was the "solution" of many beauty bloggers and now it's a no-no - as it should be. Additionally, bloggers paid to tweet about a product will be expected to add a hashtag, such as #ad to their tweet.
If you are interested in this kind of thing, you should read the FTC document linked above. You won't find me bemoaning the new rules. I will write a Disclosures page this week, but I have very little to disclose because I routinely disclose if I was given a product right in my feature. Unfortunately, I make almost nothing on Best Things in Beauty. I purchase most of what I review. I am offered (dang) and accept relatively few gratis products. I do have advertisements (not affiliates) on my sidebar, and they are already clearly labeled. If you click on one and/or purchase something, I make a few cents - or I am paid six months at a time for the space. I have already disclosed that I never post paid links or sponsored posts, but I'll put that in my Disclosures so that newcomers here will be able to understand Best Things in Beauty. I'll determine over the next six months if my efforts are working.
You will see changes in the look and content of beauty and other blogs. Now you'll know why. What do you think?
Photos courtesy of wiki and sladecutterlaw.com