Chit Chat: IMATS, PR, FTC, SMH and Stuff

Morning Ladies,

Hoping you are good today – we’ve made it half way through the week – how good is that!? I did NOT have a great start to the week but things are looking up!

I had the most amazing haul of goodies arrive yesterday (lots of new things to open, test, swatch, review – daunting) and IMATS is confirmed for next weekend! How exciting!

I am staying in London for a few days but I am booked up with meetings and the like but I am determined to get some time to just eat and chill out.

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In other news, the diet isn’t working (White Chocolate Mochas every morning, tsk). I am also currently reading a book called 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – its good but rather corporate and with the time its taking me to read it I might as well do stuff and…well be effective.

And its sending me off to sleep…so it has some uses.

Anyway I am way behind, but many of you will know about the FTC Guidelines for bloggers which came into force in the US at the end of last year.

In a nutshell:

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) wants bloggers to disclose if we get money for a post and if we get freebies to review/write about to our readers. Basically.

These are guidelines rather than rules and being a UK resident, I don’t know how far these rules affect me but I do know a large portion of my readership is in the US, so I’m game.

I have updated my Disclaimer as of January 2010, so please read it if you want an update on my stance on the matter.

I do get free samples sometimes and I mention this in posts anyway as a natural part of the article but to be TRANSPARENT, I will be inserting these Mr Candy™ designed logos at the end of my review posts from today onwards:

Or

Yes, thats my paw. Yes, those are my parcels.

I didn’t really comment on the whole FTC thing when it was kicking off and I don’t really feel like dissecting it now cos its 3am and the heated blanket is calling me.


(The cat is there to distract you)

But what I will say is that -

1. If doing this increases the trust between beauty bloggers and their readers then so be it. My readers are the reason I’ve finally got round to updating my disclaimer and using the icons, not because I feel like I am/have to be ‘regulated’ by the FTC or need to pander to anyone else. (That’s fightin’ talk!)

2. I don’t get paid to blog, I haven’t had any free holidays and I don’t get a maid out of it. I do it cos I really do enjoy it and I love changing the blog, making it grow and seeing it get better.

3. Its always nice to get a freebie – anyone who says it isn’t is lying, but for me personally, it doesn’t guarantee that I will review a product or will write nice things about it. The majority of things I am sent for free don’t even make it on the blog (see the Disclaimer!). Most of the bloggers that I know are also fair and honest.

Back when I started we never got a bean for blogging – in a sense it was more innocent back then! These days some bloggers know there are goodies up for grabs so with barely any content or a readership they approach companies requesting samples…well, fair play, I say. Its up to PR to do their homework too and understand what the difference between visitors, hits, page views, alexa ranking etc. they can send samples to whoever they like.

In the same vein, being sent something that has also been sent to another 30 bloggers means there wasn’t much targeting before hand. (Like, which bloggers like organic skincare? Which bloggers like hair care? Which bloggers have an older/younger readership which is our demographic? etc.) Anyway, if I see something has been sent out en masse, I don’t review it unless I have a different take.

4. Receiving PR samples or recommendations is a nice way to review things that I wouldn’t normally consider buying/trying. Its jolly fun when I discover something new through PR, and a lot of them are lovely people too but this blog has never been PR led. That is the way I really see it in terms of receiving samples and if that all ended, well, I work hard and can afford to treat myself to cosmetics so if no one ever sent me a freebie again I would still have plenty of content.

5. I forgot what my 5th point was. Let’s just say this –

This blog is the result of a lot of hard work from me and Mr Candy, but without the readers it wouldn’t have come this far. I’m proud to say its my blog, and I will always include what I like, and I highly encourage other bloggers to embrace that fearless independent spirit – don’t be a sheep, don’t be dictated to and don’t dictate. Its a blog! Be creative and be true to yourself!

PEACE!

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Comments

  1. says

    I absolutely agree with everything that you’ve written here. I do wonder sometimes how PRs decide who to send stuff to, or if some of them are aware of page views/unique vistor stats etc. Like you though, I have plenty of content just with the stuff I buy.

    Love the disclosure logos.

  2. tigerslovepepper says

    I always thought your opinions were honest, that’s why I like your blog and read it whenever I can. Anyway, lovely logos, bravo Mr Candy! :D

  3. says

    I love this blog! Daily read for me definitely. I aspire to be able to write like you! Funny, informative, and interesting :)

  4. says

    I love reading this blog :) It’s my first stop in the mornings or when I get home from work. Keep up the awesome reviews and humor, too :)

  5. Row says

    @Grace London – Thank you for your comment! I really appreciate it – I think you have a fab blog, what comes through is how genuinely interested in the cosmetics that you review, and your down to earth tone throughout the blog. I also like how you find new brands – I can’t think of another blogger that can show me a few brands I don’t already know apart from you ;)

  6. Winnie says

    Well said!
    I check your blog every day now, even though I don’t always comment. Thanks for putting all the work that you do into it! =)