Disclosure: WOMMA Ethical Blogger Contact Guidlines

by Marianne Richmond on November 2, 2006

WOMMA released another component of their Ethical Guidelines program today, Ethical Blogger Contact Guidelines. It is a 10-point checklist that is for marketers to use when contacting bloggers. If you wanted to sum up the 10-points in one word it would be DISCLOSURE.

 It may seem like a statement of the obvious but as recent events indicate, it isn’t always obvious to everyone. So, once more with feeling, the WOMMA top 10: (Don’t make them have to repeat it again!)

1.     I will always be truthful and will never knowingly relay false information. I will never ask someone else to deceive          bloggers for me.

2.     I will fully disclose who I am and who I work for (my identity and affiliations) from the very first encounter when            communicating with bloggers or commenting on blogs.

3.     I will never take action contrary to the boundaries set by bloggers. I will respect all community guidelines regarding         posting messages and comments.

4.     I will never ask bloggers to lie for me.

5.     I will use extreme care when communicating with minors or blogs intended to be read by minors.

6.     I will not manipulate advertising or affiliate programs to impact blogger income.

7.     I will not use automated systems for posting comments or distributing information.

8.     I understand that compensating bloggers may give the appearance of a conflict of interest, and I will therefore fully disclose any and all compensation or incentives.

9.     I understand that if I send bloggers products for review, they are not obligated to comment on them. Bloggers can return products at their own discretion.

10. If bloggers write about products I send them, I will proactively ask them to disclose the products’ source.

The Guidelines come complete with instructions for use:

"The tool is simple to use:

  1. Provide a copy of the Ethical Blogger Contact Guidelines, along with a copy of the WOMMA Ethics Code, to all personnel reading, writing, and commenting on blogs.
  2. Prior to corresponding with a blogger, review each of the 10 ethics principles.
  3. Create a monitoring program to ensure that your staff is complying."

Again, as with last week’s release of the Ethic’s Assessment Tool, they are seeking input. They are call this a "public draft." So if you have something you want to add or comment on, please go to the WOMMA site.

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