Friday, October 9, 2009
FTC Compliance for Bloggers Everywhere
This morning, Liberty Post pointed me to a new FTC rule. Because I care about lawful compliance (although, I like to think I can discern for myself what is and is not malarkey in the media, and likewise I strive to be honest in everything I publish), I am posting the Advertising Policies for the entire domain.
"Innerspace OMnimedia publishes a variety of blogs and electronic magazines celebrating and supporting conscious lifestyle choices." That's the mission. Here are the facts: We are a privately funded corporation. We want to bring sustainable culture to people in many ways, from traditional news features to essays and yes, advertising. We like to think we are uniting cool people with cool stuff when indeed our editorial content is appropriate for "stuff." The companies featured throughout the domain demonstrate an aspect of sustainability, whether they are purveyors of organic clothing, natural cosmetics, or yoga products. Whatever.
Innerspace OMnimedia chooses our advertising partners with discernment; sometimes a brand is featured because we ourselves use and endorse the products, and sometimes we feature ad banners from the aforementioned partners simply because we like the graphic effect. We pretty much do what we want when we want and we believe our readers are astute enough to know media is supported by advertising.
When a customer clicks on these visual elements, she might or might not be taken to a place with further product information or the ability to purchase said item. If she buys the item, Innerspace OMnimedia is given a commission. It's called "affiliate marketing." It's an aspect of media in the digital age.
During the holiday season, we sometimes run Seva Projects which take those commissions and distribute them to Indiana children's charities. During the rest of the year, those revenues keep the Mothership up and running. When readers' buying sprees go to charity, we are very explicit about run dates for the project, as well as who will receive portions of our revenues. In other words, you'll know about all the love you are about to spread by buying cool stuff!
As for consumer reviews (particularly on Kitty channels), your Kitty personally buys the products in question with her own funds, tests the products on herself, and gives a "transparent" and honest review. We do not review swag or samples. Your Kitty does not review anything she has not paid for herself; products posted in clickable links may or may not generate revenue, and exist mainly for the readers' convenience. Now you know. Thanks