On Snapchat (happymumnz) a follower said to me once that they were loving seeing my friends and I wearing the same dress; and she assumed we were given them to help promote the dress owner’s business.
We actually hadn’t, but I completely understand why she would have thought that.
Because so many people have no idea when people have been gifted something or if something is sponsored, because not a lot of people disclose it.
The fact is, I bought the dress after seeing another friend wearing it, and took the plunge and bought yet ANOTHER one from the same brand.
I explained that we had bought them ourselves and that I would always say if I was given something.
It then dawned on me that I hadn’t talked about this in a while, and feel I need to say it for my audience now who might not know …
FIRSTLY I need to say: I am not perfect.
I have made, and will continue make, mistakes when it comes to the internet; because I am human. Life is one continual lesson and doing things on social media is no different.
However, regardless of this, I believe in full disclosure where possible.
When it comes to my stance on disclosure, it’s more relating to the fact when I get paid to talk about something specific – either a product or service, through my social media channels.
As soon as I started being paid to do work for specific brands, or given product to do things, I made sure I let you guys know. If it wasn’t obvious (and I try to make it painfully obvious), then I encouraged you to ask – because there’s nothing worse than not knowing.
I try to pick the products, services and businesses that I work with very carefully. I make sure I genuinely like the product and/or what they do. This means I say no a lot, or I don’t talk about things if they’re sent to me and it doesn’t fit.
Obviously there are some things I don’t feel I need talk about – like when I get paid for my time to go to events. This is called an appearance fee and every now-and-then I will get paid it. This is to cover the cost of my time, travel, petrol, a babysitter, food, etc etc. Just like a travel allowance when companies send their employees overseas. I am not being paid to promote anything, rather I am being paid for my time. What I do, and say, at said event is completely up to me.
I also don’t disclose when I donate money to charities on behalf of my audience. I do this all the time, and just like allowance fees, I don’t feel like I need to talk about this. In fact, that link just above is the first time I’ve linked to it and the first time I’ve actively acknowledged I do anything like this.
Regardless what I do, in America it’s law that you have to disclose your relationship with a brand. It’s not in New Zealand, and one day I hope it is.
I think it’s really important that audience’s know when someone is paid to promote a product or brand.
PS just to set the record straight about K-Mart: I have never been paid directly by K-Mart to do any endorsement or promotional work. I have been paid an appearance fee by my agency, at the request of a PR agency to be interviewed about the K-Mart phenomenon. There was never any endorsement, editorial or content control. In fact, my piece never even made it to Air.
The email which was obtained, was done so underhandedly; and the exerts that were shown, were done so without context, and as a result could be misconstrued.