FTC, Disclosures, Blah Blah Blah

There’s been a lot of talk lately in the blogosphere about the FTC, blogger disclosures, hundreds of dollars of free swag exchanging hands, blah blah blah BLAH.

Well, as it seems most bloggers are doing, I felt the need to post my opinion & stance on all of this.

Official Gloss Menagerie Stance on FTC Disclosures: “Meh.”

I really don’t care. I have never tried to hide when I have gotten something for free. It’s just not something most of us talk about a lot because frankly, we get a lot of crap about it from people who are jealous or ignorant of the marketing industry. But let me clear the air on a few things, just in case anyone is curious.

1. Yes, I occasionally receive press samples, press release, media materials, or invitations to events because of the blog. This has never and will never influence my opinion of a product I review. In fact, mostly it has opened my eyes to products or brands I wasn’t familiar with, so in turn I get to share that with all of you. It’s a darn good thing I do, too. I’m not made of money at all. In fact, far from it. There would be no way I could be constantly reviewing the latest products without receiving press samples. I am definitely not the only blogger in this boat, let’s face it– times are tough.

2. No, I am not afraid that if I post a negative review about something my “swag wagon” will pull away. I don’t cower in fear that the “supply” will dry up if I post something negative. In fact, recently I posted a less than favorable review of a Dove body wash. I was honest and just totally unimpressed with the product. But the company that contacted me about reviewing it has contacted me since for other reasons– no harm done.

3. The reason I don’t post very many negative reviews is I haven’t had very many negative things to say, lol. There have been products that I’ve felt kind of neutral “whatever” about…but I can’t really say much about something I don’t really care about one way or the other. However, I have definitely mentioned these things in passing in articles on other products, or to people on Twitter and Facebook. If you ever have a question about a product, you can ALWAYS email or Tweet at me and I’ll do my best to answer your question as fully as possible!

4. Like most bloggers, the only part of this that bothers me is their attitude that somehow we need regulation more than print media, despite the rampant payola that has been going on for decades in that genre. Somehow someone got the idea that all of us are a bunch of slackers hanging around waiting for the gravy train to pull up. Uh, no. We’re mostly a group of articulate, talented individuals who have a passion for what we write about. I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much money I’ve spent on stuff to review for the blog, gas money driving around to various things…man, I did not get into blogging for the stuff or to make money.

5. On the subject of money. I have affiliate links on this blog. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, affiliate links are links to various online merchants set up so if someone clicks on them and makes a purchase, I get a small % commission. It’s one way bloggers can attempt to make money off of their blogs. Wanna know how much money this blog has made from affiliate marketing since March 2008 when it was founded? I received a check in the mail recently for $10 and change. Woohoo boy yeah, I’m rolling in dough from this thing. That’s the only check I’ve gotten from affiliate marketing, lol. I’m pretty sure it went towards a utility bill. I don’t get paid for my opinion, or for my time/effort. Some bloggers do what are called “Sponsored Posts”, which means someone paid them to post it. However, that in and of itself is NOT a bad thing. A sponsored post can merely be “hey will you mention our sale on your blog”– just like a company buying ad space in the newspaper to announce their sale, except uh…in case you haven’t noticed, nobody reads newspapers anymore. If Sephora calls me tomorrow and offers me a gazillion dollars to say I love their lipglosses, you guys will be the first to know, trust me. (Duh, I’d want to post what I hauled with the gazillion dollars!)

That pretty much does it for now, but as always if you have any questions or comments, I’d love to read them.


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