Disclosures and FTC Guidelines

Beginning December 1, the Federal Trade Commission’s rules regarding bloggers and product reviews take effect. Bloggers must officially disclose whether or not they recieve products from PR companies and entrepreneurs seeking to promote their products.

Well hey! — I’ve been disclosing this information since 2007. Check out my Afrobella FAQ, where I answer all the questions I’ve heretofore been asked:

How do you obtain your items for review? What products get reviewed on Afrobella.com?

Many of the products reviewed on this site have been submitted by professionals in the PR field, manufacturers, or entrepreneurs. I don’t review all of the products I am sent, generally I feature the products that are best in quality and worth spreading the word about. The others I share with my family and friends, give away, or donate to local women’s charities.

I want to send you a product to review. How do I do that? And how long does it take you to review a product?

No problem! E mail me at bella@afrobella.com and I will send you a mailing address. I generally try to review a product a month or two after I’ve gotten it. That gives me time to use it more than twice, and to form an educated opinion – but sometimes it takes me longer. If you sent me something and you think I’ve taken more than three months to review it, please send me a reminder e mail. I’m but one person, and I do get overwhelmed at times.

Are there any products that you won’t review?

Please keep the hair straightening samples away. Thank you! In general I prefer to review hair products that aren’t made of bad-for-you ingredients like petrolatum, alcohol, and mineral oil. I have naturally curly hair and I’d prefer to keep it that way, so please don’t send me products that won’t work for my hair type. All I can do with those is give them away, and I can’t guarantee a great review for your product that way. Also, I’m very hesitant about trying pills or vitamins from companies I am unfamiliar with. And yes, I’ve received samples of these kinds of things before. If you want to send a product that’s particular to my skin tone, please e mail me first so we can figure out the perfect match together.

I want to do a product giveaway on your site. How can we make that happen?

Exciting! First of all, please oh please don’t send me enough product for ten people. I do share these items among friends and family who help me to do big reviews, but in general, I’d rather HOST your giveaway rather than be the one to mail out all of the items myself. I love doing product giveaways, and if you’re interested in having me review and giveaway your products, please e mail me so we can discuss our options.

To reiterate and elaborate: some of the products on Afrobella have been purchased myself, and in those posts I make that as plain as possible. But many of the items you read about here have been provided for editorial review purposes by a public relations firm, or by the small business owner themselves. This is no different than what happens at the offices of Glamour or Essence or In Style or XXL magazines. It certainly is no different than what I experienced when I worked for a popular alternative newsweekly in Miami — products are frequently sent to media professionals for review. The only difference is, this year the FTC has chosen to focus on the relatively new landscape of the blogosphere, rather than the historied practices of print media. Well I welcome our FTC overlords to the magical world of blogging! Please allow me to discuss my blog’s policies in further detail.

Just because I recieve a product doesn’t mean I’m contractually obligated to review it, and doesn’t in any way guarantee a glowing 5-star review.

Afrobella aims to present informative, detailed product reviews that are typically based on hands-on experience. I prefer to write a personal review rather than just post press-release information, as a form of quality control. That way if anyone perchance decides to purchase a product based on what they read on my blog, their purchase is informed and they know what to expect once they spend their hard-earned cash on the makeup/hair product/item of clothing/ miscellaneous delights I’ve written about at any given point.

Some of the links you see on this site are affiliate links, specifically selected to represent the kinds of products I recommend. I do earn a small commission if you decide to purchase a product by clicking on such a link. Afrobella is currently a member of the Glam Network and — just like mainstream media publications — offers paid advertisements and occasional sponsorships. I’m a full time blogger, y’all. And I’m actively seeking for ways to sustain this blog for your reading enjoyment.

If you’re interested in advertising with Afrobella or have any further questions about these disclosures, please e mail me at bella@afrobella.com.