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for Pro Reviews version 2... can HC label "sponsored" more clearly?

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  • for Pro Reviews version 2... can HC label "sponsored" more clearly?

    I've talked to some folks who've clicked into a Pro Review and didn't realize they were sponsored.



    After they found out they felt tricked.



    Most people probably don't ever know



    Perhaps in the next version, each Pro Review can include a brief disclaimer at its beginning stating that it is sponsored by the company being written about.



    I know when I click onto a page that has sponsored material, I like to know.



    It's the right thing to do



    The FTC has also updated their guidelines which state:








    the financial arrangements between some bloggers and advertisers may be apparent to industry insiders, but not to everyone else who reads a blog. Under the law, an act or practice is deceptive if it misleads
    I will be banned soon, so don't get too attached.

  • #2

    Well, they're not really sponsored in the sense of advertorial. The manufacturer has no control over the content, and no negative post about a product has ever been removed unless it violated the TOS. In fact, I think pro reviews may possibly be the only medium where manufacturers have paid for the privilege of getting their product ripped to shreds. Of course they get to respond if they so choose, but they could do that in any forum situation.


    I canvassed the community before starting pro reviews to see if anyone had a problem with a manufacturer paying for bandwidth and defraying the cost of having a professional person moderate the forum, and no one had a problem with it. They figured that allowing people to post comments freely was pretty much all the "checks and balances" that were needed.

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    Comment


    • MikeRivers
      MikeRivers commented
      Editing a comment

      I see this thread has been truncated in the move (or maybe just benevolently edited), but I'll add that it was the Pro Reviews that brought me to these forums several years ago. There was a Pro Review of the Mackie Satellite going on. I had some interest in the unit and posted a few comments based on what I was able to figure out from the manual and literature. The Mackie marketing guy offered to send me one to study and add to the Pro Review thread. (disclaimer - I've had a previous working relationship with Mackie so they didn't just pick me out of the forum). They didn't want it back, so in a sense, I was "paid" for my contribution to that thread. I still use it occasionally, though not in the dock which was its best feature but greatest performance weakness.

       

      In a sense, the manufacturer's payment to Harmony Central to support the Pro Review process is sort of like paying a lab for testing a product. They pay a testing lab to perform the EMI and safety testing needed to obtain the CE mark. The difference betwen that and a Pro Review (other than the Review moniker) is that the Pro Review doesn't certify anything, but performs a much broader series of tests and evaluations. Yet you don't see "Dilbert Laboratories was paid to perform CE certification testing" on a product's literature.

       

      Nor do we see at the end of a product review in a magazine a statement like "Gizmo Audio is a paid advertiser in this publication." I guess this falls under the category of "Everybody knows that" whereas you need to read the introduction to the Pro Reviews section here, not exactly hidden, to learn that the products reviewed are offered for review at the manufacturer's initiative (as far as I know HC does not solicit products for Pro Reviews), and if Harmony Central agrees to take on the project, arrangements are made with the manufacturer to pay the costs of the review process.



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