This new "article" over at The Dispatch caught my eye (no pun intended) this morning and I thought might be worthy of discussion:
It's a paid placement by Pearle Vision, written by Michele Savoldi (who I know and is a great person who launched the Philanthropy Fridays series here on CU!) that is a review of products & services offered by Pearle Vision.
There is a disclaimer at the bottom:
"Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Pearle Vision via Centro Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pearle Vision."
And Michele has posted a disclaimer on her blog:
"Dispatch.com asked me to be a guest blogger for a series of Pearle Vision posts. Pearle Vision has invited me into their store for an eye exam and new glasses in exchange for a series of three blog posts about my experience, as well as promote their new pricing which includes frames and lenses at one low price."
I assume with multiple disclaimers, this type of content is acceptable, but it struck me as something more likely to be found in a lifestyle magazine publication and not in a daily newspaper. (I'm not sure if this is online only content or if it appeared in print?)
For the record, here on CU we have done a small handful of travel articles (entertainment based) that have included portions compensated for the article, and we've always provided disclaimers for that as well. But we've stayed away from paid product reviews, and even recently relaunching our in-house restaurant reviews so that we can ensure that they are done ethically.
Anyway... just wondered what people's thoughts are on this topic. The changing landscape of writing, journalism, PR, new media and social media have seemed to have made the lines sometimes blurrier between the traditional separation of editorial and advertising, but sometimes I wonder if certain guidelines or disclaimers on how these types of pieces work is good enough for most people. Or if anyone even really cares that much?