In what is undoubtedly good news for bloggers who run BlogHer ads on their site, BlogHer Publishing Network just announced a change in policy regarding product reviews and giveaways. Previously, BlogHer Ad Network had restrictions on posting product reviews, limiting members to only posting reviews on a separate review site that contained no ads. Even BlogHer members who posted product reviews sponsored by BlogHer were required to post the review on a separate site.
In an email sent to members yesterday, BlogHer clarified their new rules, which now allows for reviews or giveaways in the following situations:
* The product review or giveaway comes from a BlogHer initiative, or from a PR firm, sponsor or seller acting independently. If you’re in the BlogHer Publishing Network, product reviews or giveaways from another publishing or review network may not be placed on your main blog (accepting these prevents BlogHer from selling advertising effectively), but can be placed on your ad-free pages
* Your review or giveaway is an editorial perspective on a product — an original, balanced post about the item based on your personal experience with it — not copy from press-releases or advertising (that goes for images too) If you have not tested the product yourself, you will need to disclose that fact as well.
* There is no other compensation received by you beyond one item for you to review and a handful to giveaway. Good news: If you do get additional payment in the form of gift cards, travel, lodging or cash, you can still always put the product review or giveaway on an ad-free page.
* You must clearly disclose that the item is being provided to you, and your relationship with the company providing the item
In addition, BlogHer has lifted the $40 cap on giveaways, now allowing members to giveaway prizes of any value as long as the product is from a BlogHer initiative or direct brand relationship and appropriate disclosures are given.
Many bloggers have felt frustrated with the BlogHer Ad Network limitations, and this could mean greater opportunities for revenue for those in the network. Blogher remains one of the most popular ad networks for bloggers, and it remains to be seen if this move will increase participation in their ad network. Currently, BlogHer Ad Network reports that there is a waiting list for any new applicants to the network.
What do you think about the new rules? If you use BlogHer Ad Networks, does this rule change have an effect on you? If you haven’t used BlogHer Ads due to their content limitations, would this make you reconsider?