Friday, March 15, 2013

New Disclosures on 15 Minute Beauty


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About 2 days ago the FTC suddenly threw the interwebz for a loop and updated their disclosure policies for Dot Com Disclosures. While this was primarily aimed at ads and making sure everything is disclosed to you before you purchase a product (oh, yes, we should tell you that to get this amazing deal you are also signing up for a $10/month service plan...), they also took straight aim at bloggers and decided that what many of us were doing (the little disclosure buttons I've put at the bottom of each post) aren't enough.

Instead, I now must put a disclosure at the top of a post, next to the "claim" (which also needs to include what "typical" results are. I guess if an eye shadow lasts 6 hours on me, but the company says 12 hours, I need to disclose that typical wear is 12 hours?), and then again at the bottom. This is a lot of disclosures, and it is definitely going to clutter everything up.

I've made these little buttons to match my current design (pretty much exactly what I had before, but a different font), though I probably need to change their color to make them stick out a bit more and make them more obviously buttons.

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I haven't decided for sure if I'll be putting them in the text or writing something there, let me know what you think. I really think that a button like that is going to be obnoxious in the middle of a paragraph about an eye cream. We'll see.

In the meantime, I really want to know why it is that the FTC cares that my little blog that no one reads discloses a free $7 mascara, but they somehow don't seem to be making "traditional media" like Magazines and Newspapers do the same. When was the last time you saw a disclosure saying that they only included that mascara in their editor's picks column because they paid a required fee? Or that their editors were sent on a special spa trip gratis? These magazines don't even disclose properly in their on-line versions, which are most definitely covered by the guidelines.

If you want more details about how to comply, check out my friend Carleen's blog (she's a beauty blogging lawyer, instead of the beauty blogging doctor whose site you're on now!). Carleen wrote a great post about how to comply with the FTC Guidelines on Disclosure.

9 comments:

Arielle said...

I think these guidelines are ridiculous. Because you're right, it's mostly $7 mascaras.

Khalia Nicole said...

Shut up!!! Seriously?! ***Races over to read Carleen's blog!*** Thanks for posting this cause I had no idea there were changes!

Ellen Peck said...

I read your blog! You've provided invaluable advice during my pregnancy, and I can't wait to use the quick tips after the little one is born. Sorry about the new guidelines, but keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Bloggers put in enormous time and effort to create sites that reflect themselves and their readers. If they get the odd freebie, it's small recompense for all the work they do. Regulators make stupid rules in an effort to justify their jobs. We don't need the government wasting time or money on this. My goodness, there are so many more important things for them to focus on! I love your blog. Don't let the b******* get you down :)

moushka26 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

Christine Mikesell said...

@Khalia
When the old ones came out we had a little while to decide how to do it. Now, they came out, weren't really well known, and as of THAT DATE we had to comply! Hence, the reviews I had up for the last few days are on hold while I figure out what to do.

@Ellen
Thanks so much! The guidelines mostly suck because I feel like my site will look crazy with disclosures everywhere! I've pretty much always disclosed, when the first guidelines came out saying we needed to disclose I was one of the few sites that did disclose, so I ended up in a few books, magazines and newspapers as part of it (including Forbes!) I just felt like I was already being transparent? But apparently I need to really hit you over the head with it instead. :D

soonermom said...

Can I get an AMEN about mags and newspapers not having to disclose? It's ridic.

Carol said...

Shouldn't they make t.v. stars and supermodels who sell miracle beauty creams and potions "disclose that they have had cosmetic work done" and the results of beautiful youthful skin was from botox, surgery, and possibly the miracle potion.

Rebecca said...

I'm with you! It's a lot more "consumer predation" for a magazine like Allure or Glamour to hype up a new mascara or moisturizer without disclosing that the manufacturer is a major advertiser who is basically buying the PR. There's a reason that most of the products hyped in magazines are either soon to be released or brand new; it's because those are the products the company wants publicized. Once I figured that out, I quit looking to magazines for product recommendations because their positive reviews are for sale to the highest bidder.
There ARE some blogs that blatantly push products for money, but yours definitely isn't one of them and it stinks that you're being hit with these stupid rules. Bad apples...

MarciaF (Beauty Info Zone) said...

Your post is so well done. I always disclose and always have since I've been writing reviews. Unfortunately it's us little blogs that get blamed for everything.
When we review a product that's not even out to the public, isn't it obvious that we received it? How many times do we have to say this before the FTC will back down on us.

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