12-pack of Lindt 90% cocoa bars on sale

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/25/12-pack-of-lindt-90-cocoa-bar.html


Dark Chocolate, yummy. Add the red wine / apple slices / stinky cheese and we are there.


So not to be too picky about these things, but if that’s an affiliate link, then shouldn’t this post be labeled “Ad”?

As it stands, it’s not at all clear whether you’re getting paid if someone buys this. My understanding is that if you actually are getting paid, then this needs to be clearly disclosed.

Of course, this is Donald Trump’s America, so the rules could change.


Just assume that any BB post talking about a product will have an affiliate link.

INAL, but as far as I know that there’s any legal requirement to declare this.


The FTC thinks otherwise: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking#affiliate

They think you need to have “clear and conspicuous” disclosure of the fact that it’s an affiliate link.


This again.

Who cares if @frauenfelder makes a few cents off an affiliate link? It doesn’t cost you anything. The price is the same to you either way. The real ads are for the crap in the Boing Boing Store.


Don’t know if you are asking “if,” but if you are, I clicked on the link, and yes, it seems to be an affiliate link.


And it is what it is – BB can do what they want – but the thing I personally find a bit troubling is not so much that they didn’t say it was an ad (as a post above said, it’s a safe assumption), but that they used an amzn.to link to hide the fact. I prefer being able to hover over a link and then make an informed decision as to if I should click of not.

And because there isn’t quite enough irony in the post yet, here’s a 2009 BB article on why URL shorteners suck.

Does it count as an ad when it is something @frauenfelder likes and uses regularly and is just saying hey there is a deal on it today? Cause Amazon and Lindt didn’t pay anything here for the exposure which is what I thought counted as an ad.


The page @pleppik linked to is kind of contradictory. In the preamble it states that the rules only apply when there’s a relationship between the endorser and the product (like if Lindt compensated Mark for his post) – which isn’t the case here. On the other hand it has the verbiage about how affiliate links should be disclosed. So… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I don’t think there’s a contradiction. By definition an affiliate link is one where the poster gets paid when someone clicks on the link and then buys something. That’s a financial relationship. BoingBoing has a relationship with Amazon.com. Just because the direct relationship happens to be with Amazon and not Lindt does not mean there’s no connection.

What matters is that there’s money flowing back to BoingBoing in consideration for driving sales of the product. That’s what needs to be disclosed.

To me this isn’t about the money, which I expect is not much. This bothers me mostly because (a) I would expect BoingBoing to understand why disclosure is important; (b) These guys are not 13-year-old fashion bloggers and should know the rules; and © compliance would take practically no effort: just put [affiliate link] after the link and you’re on the right side of the law and ethical blogging.

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I understand and I don’t disagree with any of your points!

I have complained numerous times before that I wish there was disclosure both for Stack Social adverposts (which are the most egregious of all) as well as posts by Authors that use affiliate links.

This isn’t a hill I’ve seen it fit to die on here but I agree with the spirit of your argument.


Those all say BoingBoing Store for the author… so they are for sure disclosed.

ETA and while I am not amused with his other antics directly on the BBS a certain authors penchant to play with the post titles does amuse me.


And they’ve been a lot funnier recently.

The lack of transparency regarding Mark’s seemingly daily posts hocking some product on Amazon had made me lose a lot of respect for this site, and it’s curators.

The fact that it’s presented as a 'Hey, here’s a cool product and I bought it and I like it" organic sort of thing is somewhat slimy-feeling, as if you’ve been reading this site for years, you know there have been genuine product recommendations in the past, but they’re way too frequent now to be non money-driven. Nobody genuinely uses that many new products.

Be honest, guys.

There’s a disclaimer at the bottom of the front page of http://boingboing.net/ that says:

Boing Boing uses cookies and analytics trackers, and is supported by advertising, merchandise sales and affiliate links.

In my mind, that is a blanket disclosure that says “Here There Be Monsters Attempts at Monetization.” For me at least, it only needed to be stated once. I know their wily ways and keep reading and clicking in spite of them.

I’m not sure how well that squares with what the FTC advises however:

As for where to place a disclosure, the guiding principle is that it has to be clear and conspicuous. The closer it is to your recommendation, the better. Putting disclosures in obscure places – for example, buried on an ABOUT US or GENERAL INFO page, behind a poorly labeled hyperlink or in a “terms of service” agreement – isn’t good enough. Neither is placing it below your review or below the link to the online retailer so readers would have to keep scrolling after they finish reading. Consumers should be able to notice the disclosure easily. They shouldn’t have to hunt for it.


I think you nailed it. I enjoy reading BoingBoing and would gladly support the site. Why not be totally upfront about it and say, “by the way, buying stuff from Amazon using our link helps support BoingBoing.” That would be much more open, sincere, and respectful of the reader.

Now if they’d only have a lightning deal on macadamia nuts…

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Dark chocolate is lovely, but 90% cocoa is a bit too much for me; I prefer 75-80% instead.

But there are others who like this super-dark chocolate, and this does look like very tasty example of it. :slight_smile:

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