Admission: my knowledge of legal requirements is barely above that of a donkey. But even a 21st-century donkey has likely heard of this thing in America called the FTC, and may have even heard about their rules governing “testimonial advertising” and bloggers, among other things (here’s an example from the FTC website in case you’re having trouble sleeping).
And while we’re not American, and the FTC doesn’t seem to have any jurisdiction outside of the US, I figured I’d take a stab at creating a Wandertooth disclosure policy. Why? Well, as it turns out, I’m a big fan of transparency. And also, we’ve recently decided we want to make more of a go of it with this blogging thing. Yay, right? We are really excited about this, and would classify it as a good news story.
What does it mean for Wandertooth and its readers? For one, we will be publishing content (videos, writing, photos) waaaaaay more regularly. This means we’ll sometimes look to partner with companies to gain access that allows us to create interesting content. We will continue to pay for the experiences we have while traveling, but we will also accept freebies so we have more to write about or film. We will tell you when we accept freebies, and we’ll only do it when it makes sense for the type of content we want to produce. So, for example, if a company offered us free canoe polo lessons, we’d probably say no, because canoe polo sounds really weird, and probably doesn’t fit with our brand (scratch that: I just looked up canoe polo, and it looks awesome. But you get the idea, right?).
We will also be looking at options on how to make some Loonies while we blog (that’s about 0.90 George Washingtons for our American readers or 0.54 Queen Elizabeth IIs for those of you in the United Kingdom). That means you will find affiliate links in our posts, and we will be looking at different types of advertising.
What won’t we do in the quest for the almighty Loonie? I know what you’re thinking: These a-holes are going to try to make money off of the hours and hours of effort they put into their website? Animals! Is there any line they won’t cross, those money-grubbing cheats?
Great question. We’re pleased to say the answer to this question is a definitive yes. As we work to develop whatever Wandertooth is or will become, we are also drawing lines in the sand when it comes to adding more of those precious, precious Loonies to our low interest savings account. First and foremost, we won’t say yes to anything that makes us feel dirty; crappy, generic pitches from potential advertisers that have nothing to do with what we write about; or anyone that wants to be sneaky (for example, we recently said hell no to an advertiser who had written a first-person account — with me as the supposed writer — about that awesome trip to Disneyland I took with my fictitious children). So basically, we’ll be trying to avoid crap.
I’m kinda busy. Can you just sum this up for me?
- We will accept sponsored content if it makes sense, but…(see next point)
- If we receive compensation, either through sweet, sweet cold hard cash or freebies, in exchange for a review, mention, feature blog post or video, or anything else, we’ll tell you. If we receive something for free, and we think it sucks and isn’t worth the money, we’ll still tell you.
- We will use affiliate links sometimes. We’ll tell you when a link is an affiliate link, and you’ll never pay more for a product or service by purchasing it through our affiliate link.
- We will start accepting advertising. This may include, but isn’t limited to, ads in our videos or blog posts, on-page ads throughout the website, and sponsored properties, like if a company wanted to sponsor a particular segment, such as the Songs for a City posts we do. We will make it clear, to the best of our ability, when something is an ad.
- We won’t accept crappy sponsored posts. Just say no is and will continue to be our policy to shitty content that no one actually cares about.
If you have questions about this, or you think we’re missing something or are total idiots, you can direct your legitimate and ranty emails to us at firstname.lastname@example.org