June 28, 2016

Outdoor Blogging Tips for the Gear Review: FTC Disclosure

If you’ve been chosen to review a piece of gear from any company through your blog, it’s *suggested* that you disclose your relationship between you and the company. To keep this simple, the FTC has created a few short videos for you to watch. It’s all pretty simple, straight forward and will help you close out your review process the right way.

Video 1 Link: What’s new about the Endorsement Guides?

Video 2 Link: Why did the FTC update the Endorsement Guides?

Video 3 Link: What do the Endorsement Guides mean for bloggers? And let me post that video here….

Video 4 Link: How do bloggers follow the Endorsement Guides? And again, this is a good video to post here as well….

Video 5 Link: Is the FTC planning to sue bloggers? (we certainly hope not, and according to the video, it’s simple to avoid that)

Video 6 Link: Where to go for more information

And there you have it, the official guidelines. Now, here’s a few real live Outdoor Blogger disclosures to look at as examples. Remember, you can write it anyway you’d personally like as long as you’ve explained your relationship with the company that provided the gear. Easy right?

The preview copy of ‘The Lost World of Mr. Hardy’ featured in this product review was provided to me at no cost by Trufflepig Films, the producers of the this film; I currently hold no association with Trufflepig Films, Andy Heathcoate, or Heike Bachelier whatsoever. As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I’ll let you know that too. That said, I probably wont waste my or your time writing a post about something that sucks, unless it’s really that bad.

As with all reviews on Lunker Hunt, the following review is my honest opinion, I received the RIO Smallmouth Bass fly linefree of charge and agreed  to provide a review in exchange.  Lunker Hunt is not sponsored by or associated with RIO and is accepting no other compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

Kirk received the Sage DXL Typhoon free of charge to test and review. The opinions expressed above are his independent thoughts and experiences.


  1. Jason King says:

    I don’t want to contradict the above in any way. Merely, I want to point out that these GUIDELINES are just that, guidelines. They are not laws or even rules. Yes there are actual laws that you can violate as a blogger, such as “payola” schemes etc.

    Personally, I’ve dealt with this by having a Sponsors/Affiliates page on my site. There a person can see who I receive product and/or money from. I don’t feel the need to disclaimer every review post at the bottom (though I would in case I review something provided by OBN). I do point out relationships with current advertisers if I review their products but I usually weave it right into the text in a positive way. Any page that has affiliate links I will also put a line of text at the bottom that says. “This page contains affiliate links.”

    My thinking is that if you watch a TV show, say a car show where they review new models, they don’t stop the action to announce the car was provided to them free of charge by the manufacturer. That stuff is disclosed in the credits.

    These guidelines are aimed at the big blog networks, which mostly concern themselves with “How to blog” and “Blogging for bucks” affiliate toilet swirl type of content rather than actually blogging about anything.

    • Rebecca says:

      Jason ~ I thank you for your input! After reading what you wrote (and wholeheartedly agreeing) I changed one word in the above entry I had written. I modified the word required…to….suggested.

      Considering the large volume of gear review opportunities we’ll have going through and out of the OBN we figured it would be good practice to ask everyone to disclose their relationship with whatever it was they were reviewing. Keep things continuous across the board……

      I like your idea of weaving your relationship right into the review entry. I hope other people read this and see the different options they have.

      • Jason King says:

        Yes, I think your way of doing it is fine and if I were to get something from OBN to review I would comply. For my blog however, I could mention that so and so top shooter won an event with a certain cartridge and it turns out that the cartridge company advertises on my site. It could get crazy dropping disclaimers in every post.

        For me, I think a site wide disclaimer meets these guidelines. It’s up for everyone to decide what’s right for their blog though.

  2. trekker says:

    Blogging is done for many different reasons and the quality of which will decide if you enjoy it. There should be a disclaimer if there is any sort of relationship but its not going to happen i dont think

  3. Wow. I guess we never stop learning.
    For me, blogging seems like the most convenient and logical outlet for my Waterfowl exploits.
    Your advice on disclaimers and ethics was very helpful for me.

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