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FTC Rules on Bloggers
October 5, 2009 9:28 pm | by

The FTC has finally released guidelines for bloggers about endorsements and advertising! Cotton Babies has been watching for this, hoping that we would eventually get clarification about how the FTC feels about the issue. We are frequently approached by bloggers requesting free product in exchange for a published review. Some are professional. Others, well, not so much. Now that the FTC guidelines have been published, please stay tuned for more from Cotton Babies on this all-important subject. I want to digest this document before I dive into my thoughts. While you’re waiting, here is a link directly to the FTC guidelines:

About the Author

Jenn is the founder of Cotton Babies & creator of bumGenius, Flip, and Econobum, worldwide leading cloth diaper brands. She has four children (Andrew, Oscar, Elsie and Louis) and holds an MBA from Washington University. When she's not working full time, she enjoys teaching business leaders how to implement sustainable economic & social change.



  • said...
    October 23, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    This affects me, but not really because I have always plainly stated whether or not a diaper I review was sent to me by the company or a cloth diaper store, or if I purchased the diaper myself.

    I do videos to help parents understand how the diaper functions, show them the sizing, how to put the insert in, how bulky it is or isn’t, etc. I do throw opinions into the video but mostly it is instructional. I do a written review to coincide with the video.

    I have always and will continue to be completely honest no matter the origins of the diaper. So far out of my 5 star rating system, no diaper has gotten a score less than 3, but this is because I do research ahead of time. I won’t review a diaper that i already know doesn’t work well. I am in the business of promoting diapers, not trashing a company. I don’t like spreading negativity.

    I have reviewed my BG organic, which did really well. I am on the fence whether I will be buying the FLIP and Econobum to review. I know BG doesn’t really give diapers to bloggers, but I am set on diapers and would hate to spend the little earnings I have on more diapers to review. I spend hours on each review, and they are pretty high quality, or I like to think so.

    I know a lot of parents are looking to my site for these reviews, as I have already gotten a lot of traffic from people googling about them. My reviews wouldn’t exist without the “freebies” from companies, which I consider compensation for the work I put into the videos and reviews. And I get emails almost daily from moms thanking me for my videos and reviews, and asking advice. That makes my day!

  • Crystal said...
    October 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Ok. Don’t give me anything then. I mean just the stuff I ordered, of course.

  • Jenn said...
    October 14, 2009 at 8:21 am

    You can totally talk about your experiences with our products and our company on your blog! It’s only an issue if we give you something that motivates you to write that post.

  • Crystal said...
    October 14, 2009 at 8:01 am

    I just started a blog post about a cloth diaper experiment I’m doing. Since I purchased most of my products through Cotton Babies, is “advertising” that on the post wrong through FTC guidelines or only if I ask you for something…which I’m not. Just want to make sure I’m kosher.


  • Calley said...
    October 8, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    However, people are more prone to try things if their friends (or readers) have tried it first. There are many products I would never have tried myself if I had not received them from a company to review…and I am now a repeat customer of theirs too. On the other side…I have never been given BGs by anyone…and they are my favorite! You can tell that in my reviews. I usually compare everything to my trusty BGs. Will I try the new products…probably not unless they are provided for a review…my stash is well rounded enough that I shouldn’t be investing in additional diapers. But I won’t be able to tell friends and other CDing momma’s anything about these products either. Kind of a catch 22…I’d like to be an expert on all things cloth…but don’t personally need any more $$ going to my own cloth stash. Interesting…very interesting.

  • Jamie said...
    October 6, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I think this goes back to the post about “Organic Reviews.” I personally would much rather read a review by someone who obtained the product themself, rather than being handed it for free from the maker. You’re much more likely to get a real review, rather than an advertisement. I do feel this is a good move by the FTC, and will hopefully help to prevent biased reviews touting products that may not deserve it.