Starting today, new rules are in effect for those of us in “new media” (blogs, twitter, etc.). Those “who write online reviews or endorse products using new media must disclose it when they receive free merchandise or payment for writing about an item.”
I’m here to tell you that I will adhere to this rule completely. And I applaud it. Because it helps keep integrity in this process of reviews.
So…to start off, I will say that I have recieved a copy of Avid Media Composer 4.0 for free, but I have not been paid for the praise I have given it, nor for my appearance at LAFCPUG showing off AMA and Mix and Match. I did get to keep the Matrox MXO that I reviewed, and I was paid for the review. I still really believe in that product and still recommend it for people with certain needs. I did not keep the AJA Kona 3 and HD10AVA that I wrote an article about, and was still paid for the review. I reviewed the HDPro for the Cow (paid), but did not keep the test unit. And here on my blog I did a head to head with the GRAID-3 and the CalDigitVR, and returned both units (review was unpaid). I also glowed about the Flanders Scientific 1760W monitor, but returned the monitor to FSI.
I try to be honest with my reviews, as I wouldn’t want to be lead astray by others. If I receive a product for review, and my review ends up on the Creative Cow, my review has been paid for by the Cow. This is typical of many sites like that. And while I don’t get to keep most of the stuff I review, there are times I do. So when that happens, I’ll be sure to let you know.
EDIT: The main link to the actual FTC rules can be found here (thanks Rob)