(McIlhenny Company) (McIlhenny Company)
A Black Iron Haven

Regarding the New FTC Guidelines Regarding Endorsements, Testimonials

Posted by Rick Mansfield

I wanted to say a quick word about the new FTC Guidelines that go into effect on December 1, regarding any website that offers reviews, edorsements, and testimonials.

I want to let the readers here know that I think it's a great idea. You should know up front when you're reading a review of a product, book, movie, or whatever, whether or not the reviewer has been compensated in some way--even if it's stimply a free sample or copy of the product under review.

We've only offerered a handful of these kinds of reviews in this site's short tenure, but we've stated up front, every time, when a product was given to us. Last year, a chicken fryer was given to us for review, and after we reviewed it, we gave it away. We've reviewed a couple of food products (one coming up in a day or two), and we always acknowledge this as well.

My belief is that you want to know what we think of particular products or you wouldn't come here. I don't want you to think that we're biased just because someone sends it to us, though. If it's a food product, obviously we can’t send that back. But if it's something more tangible such as a piece of cast iron, we will always either give it away or send it back afterwards. If that policy were to ever change, I'd let you know. But with the roughly 30 or so pieces of cast iron that I cook with, not one of them has been given to me by a commercial company.

I also promise that if there's ever a product that we really don't like, we'll simply tell it like it is. If it's a product that's been sent to us.... well, this is simply the risk that companies take with reviews. But we'll always be very polite, of course!

We're also open to suggestions. If you'd like to see a particular product reviewed, let us know. If it's within our budget or if we can get a review copy/sample/demo from the manufacturer, we'll be glad to give it a shot.

And if you're a company that would like to see a product reviewed here, contact me at the email address below, and we'll consider it.

Feel free to leave your thoughts or ask questions in the comments below, or you can contact Rick directly at

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