Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Product review and advertising policy

Like Merchant Ships has grown up. I'm finally getting ad queries and product review offers like the big girls. I'd like to put on paper some blog policies I've made this summer.

When you read Like Merchant Ships, I guarantee that...

  • Any product or book I recommend comes solely from my own experience as a consumer--not a marketing company, not a free product to review.
  • You will not hear music, see ads, or load distracting buttons on the sidebar.
  • I will respect your free time by publishing only real content, not paid placements.
  • Writing and photos will be my own; related ideas and projects will be credited with proper links when possible.
  • I will link to items through Amazon as a courtesy to readers. Finding the cheapest price elsewhere is up to you.

  • These decisions are subject change as my family's needs change, but not without letting you know first.
    Please note, these choices are a reflection of Like Merchant Ships' philosophy, not a criticism of your own.


    Tammy said...

    Well, I for one, appreciate your decisions! My blog has a completely different focus than yours, but my choices regarding each matter is almost identical to your choices.

    Anonymous said...

    Can't wait to hear your endorsements. I know they'll be great!

    enjoying your site, as always...


    Anonymous said...

    What's the fabric in the picture?


    Meredith said...

    Perhaps I wasn't clear. I won't be doing any endorsements.

    I just wanted to make a blanket statement so that whenever I *DO* mention a product, you'll know it is a from-the-heart recommendation.

    Not something I was given free to review.

    Meredith said...

    Jora, it's actually a shot I cropped...see the little notepad on the sidebar? This is the back of it.

    I bought it at Dollar General for $1 and I think it's as pretty as anything from a stationery store!

    Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

    I appreciate your decision, and totally agree about the music (which slows things down) or ads. However, personally it wouldn't bother me if you chose to accept free items and review them, as long as your reviews were true to what you honestly believed, and not influenced by the marketing company.

    Anonymous said...

    Meredith, I also appreciate your comments. I have read several of the online books you suggested.
    It is nice to know you will only support a product, book, service or what ever that you actually use!
    I have quit reading blogs because the ads over shadowed the content. Nice to know I don't have to give you up!
    I do enjoy your input. Beloved and I are planning a vacation some time fairly soon (if you count January as soon...) and we plan to travel to Nashville to visit my brother, so i will reread your trip posts about Tennessee, I really WANT to see a bulk food store!
    hugs sweetie, as always you inspire!

    Meredith said...

    I don't think there is anything ethically wrong with accepting free trial items for independent review...

    unless it changes what you would write, even independently. Marketing companies know you want to please, even subconsciously, so that you stay on the gravy train. I just don't want to give precious blog space and time for that.

    Ultimately, I want to avoid the consumer mentality because my blog is about avoiding the consumer mentality!

    Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

    I really appreciate your stance on this. I don't mind people posting about products they've tried and really like, but it always rings just a tad false when they've been paid to do that. People are free to do whatever they want on their blogs, but I'm also free to ignore them if I feel like I'm just another reach for the marketers.

    There's just something insincere about blogs filled with ads, IMO. I want to read about people's lives and thoughts, not their advertisements for corporations.

    Anonymous said...

    I love your stance on this Meredith! I personally get a little confused when I visit a blog that has so many advertisements. May be adult ADD! I don't know, but your blog is such a peaceful, inspiring place and I would hate to see that change. Keep up the good work!! Elise

    Amy said...

    This is a touchy subject that became a hot debate on our site. I have a website and the blog is an addition to our website. We call it an online magazine and it provides supplemental income for our family. The advertisements are there, but they don't require any clicking (unless you want to). We do get products and I try to just pick the ones that I think people would find interesting or that I really enjoyed trying. The rest don't get a mention.

    Each person has to use their own best judgement on what is best for their site. I think it is great to say upfront what you plan to do and how you will utilize Amazon as a way to explore the product.

    I appreciate your honesty and I am a big fan of your work :)

    Anonymous said...


    Jenni said...

    Thank you, thank you! Your blog has become one of my favorites, and the lack of ads just makes it better.