Wednesday, 13 November 2013

To declare or not to declare? That is the question!

Since I started blogging 7 months ago (has it really been that long?!), I have joined numerous groups on Facebook. These groups are full with other bloggers that can help, or at least point us in the right direction, if someone is ever stuck with something. From how to find statistics to finding the best domain to use for the blog, there is almost always someone in there that can help. I love these groups!

Today, I was doing my daily nose through them when I spotted a post from the lovely Sara Thomas from Pretty In Pink blog about specific guidelines when it comes to reviewing items or being paid to post content. You can read her post here and read the ASA's post here.

In a nutshell it basically states that if a company pays for content or a "positive review" then it MUST be disclosed (A little note stating that you received payment).

Now, my regular readers will know I have done both reviews and paid for content. I disclose on every post that I feel needs to be. But it turns out I needn't had to.

I sent an email to the ASA enquiring as to where I stood when a company sends me a product, for free, for a review. I always thought it had to be disclosed. Their reply certainly put me straight!

"Thank you for your email.

If you are sent the product for free that doesn’t present a problem as your subsequent review will be (should be) you own opinion, and we aren’t here to regulate opinion. However, if a company sends you a product for review and pays you to give it a positive review, then you should disclose this in your review so that your readers/followers are not mislead by the information you have provided. If you would like further clarification on the rules, please contact the Copy Advice team, who can provide free and confidential advice to bloggers and advertisers.

I hope this is helpful."

It turns out that you don't have to disclose on a product review as long as you weren't paid for a positive review. In all honesty, I would never accept a payment for a review, my reviews are always 100% honest, if I didn't like it, you'd know about it! I know other bloggers may not be the same but at least with this they can see how and what they need to disclose!

So, for all bloggers worried about if they're disclosing properly, I hope this helps.


  1. That's interesting, and bound to mis-interpreted by some. I've never accepted payment for a review, but then I always disclose anyway. To be honest, I think being paid for a positive review kinds of defeats the purpose of a review in the first place?

  2. I can't say I've ever been offered money for a review, apart from one massive campaign through tots100, and I was astonished to be offered that. It never occurred to me not to tell the truth for a review, whether I've bought a product myself or not. Even with the rules on review disclosure, I'd still rather let my readers know as that's being open and honest, and I'd expect the same on reading a review.

  3. This is interesting, I've never been paid AND sent a product so I guess I have never had to disclose it? I would also keep my opinion 100% honest even if I was paid anyway!

    Kerry @ Lived With Love | Mummy, fashion & lifestyle blog