FTC Product Disclosure

Okay y’alll….I’m going to make this as simple as possible. If it goes over your head, I apologize. To be honest…this whole disclosure thing is going over my head too. The FTC Product Disclosure ruling will affect the way Clumps of Mascara operates so I want you all to be as informed as possible.

Get ‘ta readin’!

“The Federal Trade Commission will require that writers on the Web clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products. The commission also said advertisers featuring testimonials that claim dramatic results cannot hide behind disclaimers that the results aren’t typical.

The FTC said its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final guidelines, which had been expected. The guides are not binding law, but rather interpretations of law that hope to help advertisers comply with regulations. Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could result in various sanctions including a lawsuit.” <----Oh Lawd! (source)

This disclosure policy went into effect yesterday. Basically what it’s saying is that I have to inform you when I receive something from a brand for review.

I’ll be honest….I have received free products to be reviewed on Clumps. I’m sure many of you could care less because despite how I get a product, I still bring you honest reviews with good information, photos and videos. I have never been PAID to say wonderful things about any product. As a beauty blogger, I find it to be unethical. As a person, I find it to be wack. You all read Clumps of Mascara because you feel as if I provide honest commentary about the products that I review. I would never compromise that for a buck or two. <--ohhh, that rhymes!

I did not start this blog to make money. I started Clumps of Mascara as a college student who had an interest and simply wanted to share it with others. It is my passion for writing and beauty that makes me blog. Not the money.

I hate that the FTC has done this because it makes us “real” bloggers feel as if we are wrong for receiving a product to review. Whatever. Just know this….from now on if I receive a product for review I will indicate that in the post. It’s as simple as that.

If for any reason you have any questions about a product I have reviewed, do not hesitate to let me know. I didn’t even want to write this post but I feel like I owe it to you all. I am doing the best I can with Clumps and the material that I present to you all. I know that most of you know that.

And at the end of the day….that’s all that matters.

My disclosure policy will be on the main page at the button that looks like this.

You can also read the disclosure in its 80 page entirety here. Refer to it at any time.

Alright y’all….I’m done being serious.

Peace, love and suede purple booties!

  • Colette

    "As a beauty blogger, I find it to be unethical. As a person, I find it to be wack."

    I couldn't agree more. I think this whole thing is making a lot of honest bloggers paranoid – & the YouTube community also. I've seen channels with all of their videos taken down for fear of repraisal – not just reviews but tutorials that mention specific products also. But I really don't think most of us have anything to worry about, because we're not doing anything wrong!

    I suppose I should put up a disclosure policy or some kind of disclaimer also … one more thing on the to-do list.

  • KP

    As one of the legal counsels for Clumps, I'm glad to see the disclaimer up and I'm glad that you're not going to have to have the FCC come after you.

    I don't think for serious bloggers, your readers will be turned off. Disclaimers are for your protection so that some whack job doesn't come after you because they saw something on your blog.

    Is everybody ready for the upcoming Christmas BEAUTY AND THE MALE column?!?!!

    KP, Esq.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously– you don't perceive some makeup/nail bloggers as poorly-paid shills? The ones who claim that they're not biased in favor of the companies that send them stuff but then claim only to review stuff they love (which conveniently keeps them from posting anything negative about the products they're given)? Hell, I don't read all that widely and I can think right off the top of my head of a few bloggers who are clearly seeing themselves as protecting the folks who send them stuff–which is their right, but which should be made clear. "Look at this great stuff I was sent! You need this!" is a lot different from "Let's see what I think about this. Would I buy it with my own money?" and that line gets blurred, disingenuously, a lot in the blogging community.

  • kateypie35

    There are some beauty gurus that are so screamingly obviously fake…with the constant glowing reviews, and weekly extravagant shopping sprees? As an adult, I cringe. I imagine the hundreds (maybe thousands) of teen girls dropping every penny they have on some high-end product that probably wont even work on them. They NEED it, because their favorite guru told them so. Meanwhile, that guru secretly is getting paid to endorse it, and secretly received it for free? YUCK!

    You said "As a beauty blogger, I find it to be unethical. As a person, I find it to be wack." True!! And it would be so nice if everyone had your values – but THEY DON'T. Deceit runs rampant on the internet and I hope these guidelines help to quell that.

    It is unfortunate that the screamingly obviously GENUINE people like you are made to feel bad – but you really shouldn't! I think the FTC is just trying to protect people…and that is a good thing. Just keep doin' what you are doin'!

  • Anonymous

    "I hate that the FTC has done this because it makes us "real" bloggers feel as if we are wrong for receiving a product to review."

    I know this whole thing sucks, but honestly, I am happy that the FTC is going to be able to do something about dishonest bloggers. There are some that I started watching in the beginning, and now I highly question their honestly about products.

    I am of an age where I can spot and infomercial, even if it is being written/recorded in some guru's bedroom, but I think that there are a lot of teens out there who don't realize how some people are willing to compromise their ethics to make a buck.

  • Sophia

    Wow complicated.

  • T.R.

    In regards to free product — I don't care if you get free product personally I think you should. Especially since SOOO many people look at gurus as their personal shopping assistant and request all these reviews, like yall are made of money. I figured out a long time ago most of you were being sent things to see if you like them. I figured if you did you said so and if you didn't you either didn't say anything at all or you said so.

    As for getting paid, then yes you should reveal that.

    But in reality I need us as consumers to start using our brains. I don't care what a guru says I either buy it or I don't. If I do and I don't like it, I suck it up and call it a wash. Too many people act as if they can't think for themselves. Same thing happened with the mortgage fraud, weight loss products and get rich quick schemes that make billions of dollars a year off consumers. Too many people react and buy just because someone told them to instead of investigating on their own and making wise personal and financial choices. I know I might be wrong but I do need us as consumers to start doing OUR part in making sure we don't get suckered and that's not buying on impulse (main problem), doing OUR own research (even if its going to look at it in the store) and know what works for us personally (both cosmetically and financially).

    Okay sorry Brittany, I'll get off the soap box and kick it back under the table. :O)

  • B

    Colette—> I fainted when I saw your nails. LOL, but I'm back. The YouTube community IS going bananas. It's unfortunate that many people are paranoid due to not really understanding this policy—myself included. And yes ma'am…definitely get yours up. Just in case.

    KP—> LOL, you're a funny guy. Thanks for the support, GDKP,ESQ!

    Anon—> You are absolutely right! In addition to a blogger I am a blog reader and I can tell which bloggers receive products for free. It's quite obvious. And annoying. You've given me something to think about….haven't really thought about it from that point before.

    kateypie35—> Between you and Anon, I really feel enlightened. Thanks so much for your viewpoints. I saw this FTC disclosure thing as a problem for the "good bloggers" but failed to see how helpful it can be regarding the greedy bloggers. Thanks so much for your insight!

    T.R.—> You ain't lyin'!! I can't tell you how many product requests I get. I would love to fulfill them all but man….it gets expensive. Prior to ever receiving products for review, I too assumed that same about bloggers who managed to review so many product releases. It makes sense! Prior to the FTC disclosure, I had my own disclosure on Clumps. I could care less how great a product works for me, it is important that people do their own research and/or consult with a doctor/dermatologist before considering using the things I use. You are so right. But…some people look at us as professionals. Um, NO! I am not that. And I am not afraid to let my readers know that I don't know everything. You rock on, lady! Thank you so much for your input. Jump on the soap box anytime. :)

  • Fredmyn

    Hi! I just wanted to mention that I heard about this on the radio about a month ago and I wasn't really sure how it was going to effect bloggers and the things they post. I am still pretty new to the 'beauty blog scene'. I appreciate that you are willing to be honest with your followers and are completely honest about the products you love or dislike. Keep up the good work!

  • Shannon

    I actually found it unethical before these rules if bloggers didn't admit they didn't get a product for free. Especially if it's a specific website that send you the product, you can't vouch for the company's customer service or shipping, so you may be unwittingly asking your visitors to go to a shady site.

    I don't understand WHAT all the fuss is about, but I am glad that bloggers are being forced to fess up to their freebies now.

  • B

    Fredmyn—> Thank you so much for your support. *hugs* Don't hesitate to drop me an email whenev. :)

    Shannon—> I see what you're saying but it still puts me in a funk. I can only speak for Clumps but I don't see why it makes a difference if I've received a product for free or not. I have always been honest in every review I've done on this site. Whether I spent my last dime trying to purchase it or if I got it for free, readers can be sure of one thing….I am honest. Always have been and don't have a reason not to be. Would people stop reading my blog if ALL of the products I reviewed were sent to me by brand PR reps? I certainly hope not. IMO, it's the content that matters..not how I got the product. Thanks so much for your input!