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Disclosure Policy

Reviews, Endorsements & Testimonials

Whenever we express a view on this site about a product, service or other item, that view is solely our opinion based on our experience with the item. When we accept paid advertisements to help defray part of the cost of operating our site, we do not accept any responsibility for advertised products and services provided by third parties. We also accept product samples on occasion (and when we receive them, they typically have not been solicited by us) and, being members of media, we often receive media press passes to various events (at a reduced rate or at no charge to us) and complimentary wine tastings. We do not agree in advance that we will necessarily review a product, service or event (favorably or at all) in exchange for samples, press passes or other items.

We have never felt “influenced” by a sample, press pass or other item to express a favorable opinion or to publish a review at all, so we have not routinely made specific disclosure of our receipt of those things on the particular blog post. Nevertheless, effective December 1, 2009, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission amended its Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising to expressly apply to blogs and, despite their use of examples, did so in a manner that creates substantial uncertainty as to the exact circumstances under which a disclosure must be made and exactly how it should be made. Therefore, even though we do not feel “influenced” to express anything but our actual opinions on this site, we will endeavor to disclose our receipt of all samples, press passes and other items we receive at a reduced rate or at no charge to us (even if they are of nominal value) when we express our opinions on an item or event in all articles we post on this site on or after October 1, 2009. By doing so, we do not intend to suggest that any particular disclosure was necessarily required under the Commission’s amended Guides or otherwise. Nor do we intend to suggest that any disclosure implies that our opinions were “influenced” in any way. We simply feel that the disclosure won’t hurt and that it’s the cautious thing to do under the circumstances.

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