Sticky topic: Do you use disclaimers?

I’m here at the Fitness & Health Blogger Conference in Boulder, where I’m having a great time (in spite of Beth’s boot camp!) learning tons and getting to meet up with some real social media A-listers. Not to mention great fellow bloggers like Jason, Jill, Erin and SUAR.

One topic that caught me off guard was the subject of using disclaimers when you do a product review. I’ll admit–I never have. I guess I always assumed that if you’re doing a review, people know you’ve been given the product for free in order to form an opinion.

Well, turns out I am wrong. There’s actually an FTC regulation on this that came down in 2009. Did you know this? If you want more information, here’s the link with all the details spelled out.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you always used disclaimers?

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Comments

  1. Patrick Mahoney says:

    I didn't know specifically about the 2009 FTC rule, but this is America – the most litigious place in the universe, so I just keep a reminder in the back of my head to proceed with caution. Not that I always listen to myself or anything…

  2. Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner says:

    This is a great reminder. I've used disclaimers, but I don't always remember.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I'm with Patrick on this one. I figure full disclosure and you can't go wrong.

  4. BabyWeightMyFatAss says:

    I probably should but I don't get many reviews. I probably should stick one simple disclaimer on the blog? huh?

  5. Jeff - DangleTheCarrot says:

    I was unaware of this rule but have still put a disclaimer on every review I have ever done. Not sure why and I usually try and make them funny?

    My guess is this is just a way for the FTC to set a foundation in order to begin taxing Blogger and corporations for goods received. Just another gov't money grab. My other guess is that pressure to do this (other then unrealized revenue stream) is that the MLM Bloggers make a bunch of BS claims for profit. Not saying this is right or wrong it just is.

  6. *~*~* Tracy says:

    I used to do curriculum reviews and we were required to put disclaimers on our blog posts so I still do even though I don't review many items lately.

  7. I don't do actual product reviews. Never will. Just not my cup of tea. Of course I'm shill for Newtons, but that's not really a product review, per se.

    But, Patrick is NEVER wrong, so go with what he said.

  8. Caratunk Girl says:

    I didn't know about the FTC rule, but noticed others did it so I just did too.

  9. I haven't ever gotten anything free to review. If I review something it's because I bought it and I liked it and wanted to share. one exception was SPIbelt. They paid for a race entry and that was no secret on my blog. I reviewed their stuff as part of the deal. I actually liked their product, but I'm not sure I wrote a disclaimer.

  10. I did think there was a rule, but I actually thought it was pre-2009. I do product reviews, but I've never gotten anything for free, so it's my real opinion, cause it was my money! Ha! :)

    Sounds like you are having fun!

  11. Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS says:

    I'm with Regina. I've never gotten anything for free to review, so do you still have to put a disclaimer when you talk about a product you like? (I bought this myself and wasn't compensated for my review…)

  12. lindsay says:

    i have ever since i heard about the rule. and i think i use them (most of the time) for stuff i was not given for free if i just want to talk about it. i do think it's important to be open/honest and let your readers know whether you're talking about something because you like it or are being 'paid' to.

  13. Leah @ Chasing Atalanta says:

    I had no idea there were laws regarding review disclaimers. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Richelle says:

    I hadn't heard about this rule before, but I have seen fellow bloggers post disclaimers when reviewing products or even trying out products they purchased themselves. I haven't done an official "product review" on my page yet, but for the giveaways I've posted, I've included some type of disclaimer about the products included.

    Thanks for the info! Sounds like you learned a LOT at the conference!

  15. I never worried about it at first, but now I have to have the disclaimers because I have ads on my blog. That made a big difference, the ad people are super picky about reviews.

  16. I have a disclaimer on my blog to ensure nobody associates anything I say with my place of work. Even though I never mention my place of employment and rarely, if ever, blog about my job.

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