We send free stuff to bloggers sometimes. We love it because it allows bloggers to challenge themselves with new ingredients and in the process those bloggers create new uses for our products and tell their readers about our company and products. It is a great win-win. While we do provide the product samples free of charge, we do not ever pay bloggers to write about our products.
If we send you free samples, please keep the following in mind:
1) Please be honest. This is the most important part. Regardless of whether you like or dislike the products, please give your honest opinion. Be sure to tell your readers that you received the samples for free, just so they know. Even if you think that your readers assume that you got the product for free, just say it anyway. Instead of saying: “I got these mushrooms from Marx Foods”, say “I got these mushrooms from Marx Foods for free”.
2) If you say something that is not accurate, we will do our best to let you know. We use Google Alerts so that we can read what is being written about us. We don’t catch everything though. Please do not be offended if we reach out to you to let you know that we think something that you said is not accurate. The FTC wants us to do that.
3) You don’t have to write positive things about the products. In fact, you don’t have to write about them at all. Yes, of course, we want you to say glowing things about the products … but only if that is your honest opinion.
Thanks so much for reading. If you want to read more, you can check out some of my own FTC rules of thumb. And, if that doesn’t satisfy your thirst for knowledge, check out FTC Regulations 16 CFR 255 and their explanatory notes.