Ok sorry. Here's the thing. If you get a free board, and you write a review, include a link, anything at all, then these guidelines apply to you. Doesn't matter if you're representing the company.
So, I just feel like it's odd of you to keep claiming the opposite of what it plainly says.
See if we can keep it civil and not personal attacks for no reason I'm happy to discuss this because honestly I agree that guidelines are good.
Here's the thing. I don't disagree with you on your points.
I think all 3 of your points are decent guidelines for a review and in general should be followed when applicable. I'm with you there and as BA said, there's a lot of crap out there that should abide more closely with those guidelines. I'm all for having guidelines.
Heck, I've personally contacted certain snowboard companies to terminate affiliate accounts for people who came on this forum and posted fake recommendations and links against FTC guidelines.
However, I also think it's important not to scare average posters who aren't part of any blog/website/company representative etc by bringing the FTC targeting talk when it's unnecessary in their situation and doesn't really apply to what they're doing.
So your points = good
'FTC may target you' = unnecessary
I saw your gear buying guide with a ton of Burton/Special Blend products listed in it, some ThirtyTwo, Electric, Dakine, K2 and a few others. Have you ever received any benefit from those brands, or did you just randomly choose them because you like them? I'm not accusing, just asking. It's plausible that you just needed examples and grabbed your favorites. Genuinely curious.
I receive no benefit whatsoever. That would go against building trust with my readers.
As an aside, and just my opinion, which you probably wont like...don't bother "reviewing" shit from your friend and former roommate. I'm sure you do think it's great. I think what my friends do is great too. If I don't think its great, I leave the bad parts out. It'd be a dick move for me to post a critical review of my friends product online, right? Everybody knows that no one will do that, so if they're considering a purchase, they want unbiased reviews. It doesn't matter how honest you are, you just can't objectively review that way. Of course you can do what you want, but just saying, this isn't useful. You're not doing readers a favor when you do that. You're doing your friend a favor. You can't serve both masters.
I don't agree here in this context. That review was made because frankly I get asked my thoughts on his trick tips constantly. It's natural since we're in the same space and I heavily cover freestyle tips and advice on my blog.
So that's why I did the review. He didn't even ask for the review (frankly he sells enough of his programs that he doesn't need my promotion). Before the review I actually purposely paid for a copy of his product myself and continue to pay the subscription fee even though I already had all his original trick tip videos on dvd and don't get any benefit from them at my level of riding.
It all comes down to trust that you build with your readers. I would be 100% open if I found something bad with my friends product and my readers know that, especially after all the money I've passed up to promote things or put ads on my website. If his product has flaws I'd say it, but the only real flaw I could find was the fact that his download method was a bit of a pain, which I did mention. Heck, if I were him I'd have charged double what he's charging for his videos.
Reading your previous post it seems your only real negative with his videos was the fact that he didn't go as in depth as possible. However to me I didn't view that as a negative because in-depth and long wasn't his target market. His tricks tips are purposely designed to be short and go over just the key points and with that goal in mind he's nailed it. The fact is there isn't another trick tip on the market that comes close to his and not answering readers who ask me to review his product would be a disservice when every other trick tip is so absurdly bad.
The thing is if I really wanted to profit I'd stop promoting his products, make a clone of them and sell my own trick tips. I'm actually losing potential future income by promoting his products to my readers. However, it all goes back to building trust. If I don't have a better solution for what my readers want then I'm going to recommend them the best solution even if it's not beneficial for me.