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TrueColours
Oct. 23, 2008, 07:56 PM
I am rather befuddled as to when suggestions are permitted and when they cross the forbidden line into advertising on these forums ...

If, for example, as poster asks for suggestions for a "dilute TB stallion for her mare" and we have one of those, we are permitted to respond and say:

"I stand Fluffy - the wonderful palomino TB stallion and he can be seen at: www.fluffyacres.com "

That is not construed as advertising from my understanding, but we cannot start a post and say:

"I stand the wonderful palomino TB stallion - Fluffy. Breed your mares to him!"

That IS advertising ...:yes:

So ... if someone posts and asks for a real estate agent in KY that specializes in horse properties as they are thinking of moving there and I am a RE agent in that State, am I permitted to come forward and post offering my services or is THAT advertising? :confused:

And how about if someone is looking for an alternative to hoof boots as they havent had much luck with them at all and they are ending up using duct tape and feed bags to poultice their horse's feet and I have a brand new boot that would do the job perfectly that most people dont even know about yet - can I respond on that thread letting people know about this new boot or is that regarded as advertising as well?

And if you see a thread discussing hoof boots, for example and you decide to not post on the thread but you PM or email them instead, is that crossing the advertising line as well???

Many thanks - it just seems like there are a lot of grey areas and it isnt all B&W out there at all ... :)

**And I do realize I just goofed and posted this in the wrong forum ... it should have been in Off Course instead but I cant delete and move it over ... ***

Rick Burten
Oct. 24, 2008, 09:43 AM
One might opine that your signature line is blatent advertising......

Auventera Two
Oct. 24, 2008, 09:47 AM
opine ......

Rick - is that like a porcupine/opossum cross or something? I can never figure out that word.

jaimebaker
Oct. 24, 2008, 10:50 AM
One might opine that your signature line is blatent advertising......

So could yours:winkgrin:

Simkie
Oct. 24, 2008, 10:55 AM
What about if someone is looking for a supplement for their horse, and a poster steps in and says "feed this stuff, it's great!" and that person happens to be the one who MAKES said supplement? Why is that not advertising? Or is it allowed advertising like offering your stallion? Or is it not allowed?

Kaeleer
Oct. 24, 2008, 10:56 AM
So could yours:winkgrin:

Can Rick's signature line form an opinion? Is it sentient?

Does that mean it will now have rights?

jaimebaker
Oct. 24, 2008, 11:26 AM
Can Rick's signature line form an opinion? Is it sentient?

Does that mean it will now have rights?

I don't follow you, sorry. Please give an example.


His line stating all of his farrier credentials TO ME is no different than someone saying they are standing a stud. The OP's sig line doesn't say anything about 'gorgeous, amazing, blah blah blah' just states basic neutral info. In either case a person can contact either one of them for a service based on what's in the sig line that they may not have known about otherwise.

ponyjumper4
Oct. 24, 2008, 11:26 AM
It's not blatant advertising to respond to a thread. It is when you start the thread advertising something. For example, I work for ThinLine. I can't come on here and start a thread about a sale or a new product, but I can respond to inquiries or make comments on a thread someone else started--I can participate in the conversation.

Auventera Two
Oct. 24, 2008, 11:32 AM
I don't follow you, sorry. Please give an example.


His line stating all of his farrier credentials TO ME is no different than someone saying they are standing a stud. The OP's sig line doesn't say anything about 'gorgeous, amazing, blah blah blah' just states basic neutral info. In either case a person can contact either one of them for a service based on what's in the sig line that they may not have known about otherwise.


So are you going to drive your horse up to TN to Illinois every 5 weeks for Rick to shoe him? But I bet you could fly some semen across the country, couldn't you?

Totally NOT the same thing. :cool:

TrueColours
Oct. 24, 2008, 11:43 AM
If you check out the signature lines on ANY of the breeders that own or stand stallions, it has always been permitted that we put the small blurb in there about them and our website info. This was cleared by Erin way back when and has never been an issue from Day 1

And it has always been permissable to respond to a thread if they are looking for a stallion that throws Hunter Breeding babies, for example, and they are looking for a stallion that finished in the Top Ten of the USEF HB standings and you happen to have one of them. That has never been an issue either

but if someone asks for a WB stallion that specializes in dressage and you post about your TB stallion that is a hunter, you get slapped down - justifiably so

But where my confusion arises stems from an incident awhile back and I dont have a clue what is and isnt permissable any more to not contravene the advertising rule, is someone posted about blankets rubbing their horse. I happen to sell a line of bibs to prevent blankets rubbing and I EMAILED them off the board and I received an advertising infraction for doing so

So - how and where is the line drawn in the sand?

If someone in IL is looking for a farrier for a major recurring problem is Rick allowed to post offering his services in that case or will he get slapped with an advertising infraction if he does? And would he need to get a "friend" to post and recommend him instead in that case? Or if he emailed that poster - off the boards - would he get set down for advertising as well for simply emailing them to let them know his contact information and how he could be reached if they chose to do so???

Rick Burten
Oct. 24, 2008, 11:47 AM
Rick - is that like a porcupine/opossum cross or something?

Or something...........:)


I can never figure out that word.

Let me help.

o·pine (-pn)
v. o·pined, o·pin·ing, o·pines
v.tr.
To state as an opinion.
v.intr.
To express an opinion

Rick Burten
Oct. 24, 2008, 11:50 AM
So could yours:winkgrin:

Never said it wasn't, though one might consider it some different to put earned appellations after one's name as opposed to offering a service/product directly. Or not.

Once again we see that the axiom "It Depends" is in play. :)

TrueColours
Oct. 24, 2008, 11:50 AM
Let me help.

o·pine (-pn)
v. o·pined, o·pin·ing, o·pines
v.tr.
To state as an opinion.
v.intr.
To express an opinion


So you're NOT just a pretty face after all! You are super smart as well ... ;)

jaimebaker
Oct. 24, 2008, 11:54 AM
So are you going to drive your horse up to TN to Illinois every 5 weeks for Rick to shoe him? But I bet you could fly some semen across the country, couldn't you?

Totally NOT the same thing. :cool:

Well, you see, I 'm not going to inquire about either one so it's no difference to me. I see your point though. Then again, I know quite a few folks that actually fly farriers in to work on their horses so, yeah, not as big of a difference as you may think.

Rick Burten
Oct. 24, 2008, 11:55 AM
What about if someone is looking for a supplement for their horse, and a poster steps in and says "feed this stuff, it's great!" and that person happens to be the one who MAKES said supplement? Why is that not advertising?

I think it is indeed advertising.

That said, I have routinely recommended products/services in which I have no fiduciary or personal interests . IOW, if I don't own the company, sell the product/services, receive income from the promotion and/or sale of the product/service, then I don't consider it to be advertising per se.

TrueColours
Oct. 24, 2008, 11:59 AM
I think it is indeed advertising.


I agree 100% as well. But why can a stallion (who is also a *product* that is being sold for monetary gains) be offered by the poster who has the *fiduciary or personal interests* in that semen product without contravening the rules, but a supplement cannot?

They are both "products" in my eyes, both owned by the poster and the poster stands to gain by promoting either one of them ...

So again - what is the difference and how and where do you draw the line? And how do you know what it and isnt permitted?

Rick Burten
Oct. 24, 2008, 12:09 PM
I don't follow you, sorry. Please give an example.


His line stating all of his farrier credentials TO ME is no different than someone saying they are standing a stud.

Interesting. Most would find that my credentials or those of anyone else, are not advertising in its strictest construction. Just because someone says they are a doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief, et al, doesn't mean they are engaging in an advertising campaign.

On the other hand, stating that one has a service or product for sale, is a different matter and by any construction should be considered advertising. YMMV


The OP's sig line doesn't say anything about 'gorgeous, amazing, blah blah blah' just states basic neutral info.

It doesn't have to. Using the terminology "standing at stud", or the like, is a far different kettle of fish than placing one's credentials after(or before) one's name.

Take a look at all the advertising on the right hand side of the page. Now, imagine if someone placed one or several of those ads in their signature line. Would you call that advertising?


In either case a person can contact either one of them for a service based on what's in the sig line that they may not have known about otherwise.

You are comparing apples to road apples.

Besides, I don't give a damn what someone puts in their signature line, advertising or otherwise. I was just commenting on TC's original post/comments and opining that many would consider her/his signature line to indeed be advertising.

But hey, if the mods want me to remove my credentials from my signature line, its no problem for me.

That said, if I remove those credentials but place B.Sc. after my name, will that still be considered advertising? After all, I am stating that I am a college graduate and maybe someone would , based on that, contact me about this, that, or any ole' thing.

And so it goes........

Rick Burten
Oct. 24, 2008, 12:22 PM
But where my confusion arises stems from an incident awhile back and I dont have a clue what is and isnt permissable any more to not contravene the advertising rule, is someone posted about blankets rubbing their horse. I happen to sell a line of bibs to prevent blankets rubbing and I EMAILED them off the board and I received an advertising infraction for doing so

I have a real problem with that action. PM's, e-mails, phone calls, snail-mail, whatever, should not be a part of this. Hell, I'm contacted privately all the time for help with hoof problems and I'm not getting an advertising infraction. Why am I being discriminated against?


So - how and where is the line drawn in the sand?

A good question and one that deserves a rapid and clear answer.


If someone in IL is looking for a farrier for a major recurring problem is Rick allowed to post offering his services in that case

I would think not, nor would I. That said, if I were contacted privately, I most certainly might.


or will he get slapped with an advertising infraction if he does?

Well, if I do it openly on the forums, then I think I should indeed get slapped with an advertising infraction.


And would he need to get a "friend" to post and recommend him instead in that case?

That has and does happen although I have never asked anyone else to post something like that on my behalf. Nor would I.

So, if for example, someone posted on the forums that TC had said bibs for sale, and went so far as to post a link to a relevant web site, I would not, so long as the friend had no "proprietary interest" in the product, consider that to be advertising.

Hell, I recommend Durasole(www.durasole.com) :) all the time. But I get nothing from the manufacturer or anyone else with a proprietary interest in the product for so doing.


Or if he emailed that poster - off the boards - would he get set down for advertising as well for simply emailing them to let them know his contact information and how he could be reached if they chose to do so???

I'd be as offput as you are if that happened to me.

Auventera Two
Oct. 24, 2008, 12:24 PM
Right now there's a thread going in Dressage about Jane Savoie and her books, DVDs, etc. and the mods haven't shut that down. So I guess it just depends on what the board owners feel is appropriate and what isn't? I don't know. We don't make rules. We just follow them. :cool: Or not. :cool:

Rick Burten
Oct. 24, 2008, 12:32 PM
Vicki,

If you post some photos of your work and I comment on them, am I advertising for you? Are you advertising?

I mean, we actually have a couple of threads of that nature going right now. :eek: ;)

Bogie
Oct. 24, 2008, 12:34 PM
Back to the OP's question: When in doubt, send a PM rather than post.

For example, if someone says they are looking for a particular saddle and I happen to have one for sale, I would send the poster a PM with the details. It would be considered advertising if I posted it as part of the thread.

I think the same would go for someone looking for a stud. I would send them a PM, not post.

Simkie
Oct. 24, 2008, 12:36 PM
Back to the OP's question: When in doubt, send a PM rather than post.

For example, if someone says they are looking for a particular saddle and I happen to have one for sale, I would send the poster a PM with the details. It would be considered advertising if I posted it as part of the thread.

I think the same would go for someone looking for a stud. I would send them a PM, not post.

You can still get in trouble for sending a PM.

Additionally, soliciting via the board is also verboten. No one is allowed to post "wanted" anything.

Auventera Two
Oct. 24, 2008, 12:37 PM
Rick - Well - depends. Are they negative or positive comments? :lol:

Bogie - During the Reign Of Erin, a girl on the endurance board was having a lot of saddle trouble and since we were going to be at the same endurance ride, I posted that I have a saddle she could try and if it works, I'd sell it because I'm not using it anyway. I was banned for a week and got this nasty little red dingie in my profile that never went away. The very last thing I was thinking about was making any money. I just thought I was being helpful. :lol:

Rick Burten
Oct. 24, 2008, 12:37 PM
Back to the OP's question: When in doubt, send a PM rather than post.

For example, if someone says they are looking for a particular saddle and I happen to have one for sale, I would send the poster a PM with the details. It would be considered advertising if I posted it as part of the thread.

But that is precisely what TC did. And, as a result, got slapped with an advertising infraction.

See the conundrum?

TrueColours
Oct. 24, 2008, 12:41 PM
Vicki,

If you post some photos of your work and I comment on them, am I advertising for you? Are you advertising?


This is exactly where I get confused on this - when it isnt BLATANT - but more into the GREY areas ...

If Vicki did a photo of my stallion and posted it as

"Look at the WONDERFUL photo's I just took of TC's stallion - Fluffy!" I would say thats double edged - she is "pimping" her work (for lack of better terminology ... ;) ) plus she is putting in a free plug for me and for Fluffy in exchange for the money she made from me for taking the pictures in the first place

And - how about if I posted instead with:

"Look at the WONDERFUL pictures Vicki took of my stallion Fluffy! If anyone is looking for a super photographer - contact Vicki - she is fabulous!"

Is that advertising? On both of our parts?

Now - how about I substitute "my stallion Fluffy" for "my old almost dead 25 year old gelding Bobby". Bobby is long past selling any part of his body to anybody so I stand to gain nothing other than posting some nice pictures of him that I am very proud of

Would that be okay if I *helped* promote the photographers business in that manner simply because I was so pleased with the work she did for me?

Or is that advertising as well???

TrueColours
Oct. 24, 2008, 12:47 PM
Here is the message I received for violating the advertising rule:


You have received an infraction at Chronicle Forums
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear TrueColours,

You have received an infraction at Chronicle Forums.

Reason: Advertising
-------
It's been brought to our attention that you have emailed board members to solict business as a Bossy Bibs representative, which violates the advertising rules of the forum.

If you'd like to utilize the board for advertising purposes, please purchase a banner or classified ad from the Chronicle, which provides the forums as a free service to the public.
-------

This infraction is worth 1 point(s) and may result in restricted access until it expires. Serious infractions will never expire.

All the best,
Chronicle Forums


So - again - I have NO idea how this could be construed as advertising! And yet it was ...

There is a thread on Off Course now asking which COTH member does the custom stained glass in eventers colours. How can ANYONE respond without being guilty of the same thing???

Bogie - according to this, you cannot PM or Email either without violating the rules!

eventchic33
Oct. 24, 2008, 12:49 PM
This definitely needs to be answered by the mods. I had put a "wanted" add up and got yelled at and was told to go to the marketplace. OK so I did. 2 weeks later(after add was never posted) I get a pm stating that I they weren't going to put my add up for various reasons. I think I was to detailed in what I was looking for. Anyway didn't matter at that time as I had (by the time I got the pm) found what I was looking for. And not through this BB either.
So in that aspect, why tell me to go elsewhere then tell me that they wont post?

HOH
Oct. 24, 2008, 01:23 PM
OK, I'm reading thru this thread trying to determine for myself what "advertising" means on this Forum and am now wondering why the thread posted below, created Sept. 15th and still active, is not advertising??

http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=167137

I guess because the store did not directly post it? We can advertise for others?

Simkie
Oct. 24, 2008, 01:36 PM
Back when Mountain Vet was still shipping RXs all over the country, I frequently pointed people in their direction. If I'd WORKED there or benefited financially from my posts, I think that would have been blatant advertising. As it was, I'm just another customer tell other potential customers about a good deal.

For me, at least, the line is: do you benefit financially from your post? If yes, then you're advertising. If no, then it's not an ad.

TrueColours
Oct. 24, 2008, 01:48 PM
For me, at least, the line is: do you benefit financially from your post? If yes, then you're advertising. If no, then it's not an ad.


If it was that clear cut and that Black and White I wouldnt have even started this thread

*I* may personally benefit by recommending my stallion if someone is looking for a stallion that fits what he is. Why is that level of promotion permitted but saying that you have the perfect hoof boot or riding vest that fits the exact criteria of what the OP is looking for - doesnt???

What if you dont "post" at all, but PM someone or EMAIL them off the board? How is that construed as "advertising" on the COTH boards??? :confused:

And lets say you're a friend of mine and I phone or email you and ask you to start a thread about my blanket bibs - raving about how wonderful they are and here is the link and Donna is such a terrific person to deal with and then people come on that thread and I respond to their questions. "Grey area" advertising, huh?!

mp
Oct. 24, 2008, 01:51 PM
Here is the message I received for violating the advertising rule:



So - again - I have NO idea how this could be construed as advertising! And yet it was ...



I'm not sure what the rules are either, but I'd say you just violated them again, didn't you?

Kaeleer
Oct. 24, 2008, 02:13 PM
I don't follow you, sorry. Please give an example.


Never mind.

Sometimes, my mind doesn't work like normal folks. Carry on.

Sport
Oct. 24, 2008, 02:28 PM
The only way that COTH could have known that you e-mailed someone about your product is if someone complained.

If I post that I am having problems with my blanket fitting, or my horses shoe isn't right, or whatever other problem I may have, I don't think that I should receive a number of e-mails or PM's from blanket companies or farriers or whatever the case may be as a result of that post. If I wanted that I would have e-mailed the different companies.

I am posting because I am looking for other people's input on products or services that they have tried that work. If you have a good product (and this is no reflection on the OP's product) then someone will step forward and recommend it and yes this might be a friend of the manufacturer.

Bogie
Oct. 24, 2008, 02:36 PM
But that is precisely what TC did. And, as a result, got slapped with an advertising infraction.

See the conundrum?

I had no idea that was forbidden. Live and learn!

cllane1
Oct. 24, 2008, 02:41 PM
There is a thread on Off Course now asking which COTH member does the custom stained glass in eventers colours. How can ANYONE respond without being guilty of the same thing???


Raises hand sheepishly...that's my thread, but I didn't even think anything about advertising when I posted it, and it was before I had read this thread. I just remember there is a COTHer who has her website in her sig line that does custom stained glass, but I can't remember who it is, and I thought they would make good Christmas gifts. I'll let the mods know they can pull it if they see fit.

The only reason I posted it is b/c I have seen similar threads of people who ask stuff like, "hey, who does those pretty browbands" or "who was it that did so and so's awesome horse portrait?". But I've never tracked to see if those type of threads are shut down or not.

Definitely some good questions on this thread about what constitutes (or doesn't) advertising.

Moderator 1
Oct. 24, 2008, 07:39 PM
OK, this is a doozy of a thread with a lot of questions, so let's dig in.

First off, the general reasons behind having no-advertising rules:

1) So the board doesn't become overrun by people hocking their wares, horses, selves, etc.--we try to maintain a productive atmophere that fosters discussion vs. self-promotion, where folks can get honest opinions without being targets for advertising

2) Because the boards are provided free of charge by the Chronicle, which is supported in vast majority by advertising dollars--ie. why buy the cow if you can get the mild for free?

---------------------------------------------------

That's the general concept. Now how to achieve that? It's tricky and it's not an exact science--there are no AI "Modroids" yet commercially available to do the job!

While maintaining those two ideals, we also don't want to handcuff the "experts" who are in the best position to answer some of the questions posed about their product, stallion, service, etc. We feel it's important to allow those people the freedom to respond on threads concerning them or their products, stallions, etc.

That's what we're trying to convey in these rules, for example:


Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

So, yes, if someone asks for a farrier or a stallion recommendation, and one of our members fulfills the specific criteria outlined, a poster can suggest themselves or their stallion.

As in the Thinline example, or the original Fluffy stallion example, you can respond on threads concerning your "product" but you can't start one about it.

This is one of the places where the old "moderator discretion" caveat comes into play. For example, if a stallion appears to fulfilling an extraordinary range of specific criteria ;), or we have reason to believe an OP is being "planted" in order to provide an opportunity for a self-promotional opportunity, we may intervene.

There are lots of gray areas by nature as each situation has its unique set of circumstances. For example, if we've had to contact a user before about their use of the board, and something falls into a gray area, we may be less forgiving.

Another thing that can complicate people's understanding of what's OK and what's not is that the mods can't/don't see or read every thread on the board. Just because a thread is here doesn't mean it's received the official COTH seal of approval.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Let me try to address a few specific examples raised in this thread as examples:

1) I haven't seen the stained glass thread, but as long as there wasn't something shady going on behind the scenes (like the OP is a greenie with the same IP address as the artist, or a buddy who has posted about the same thing four times in the past year), that thread should be fine.

The OP is asking about a general service and people who fulfill that criteria can respond.

2) HOH's question about the thread about the sale at the Farmhouse. OK, because the OP doesn't seem to be affiliated in any way. If she repeatedly "pimped" for that store, and it was brought to our attention, we'd likely have a word with her. We want members of the COTH community to be able to give each other positive reviews of companies, products, etc.

But, for example, if the OP was a total greenie, singing the praises about site or product, we would likely look into it further to see if he/she was affiliated with the company.

3) Eventchic33's question about the wanted ad. I'm pretty sure I remember this one--she was looking for a project OTTB horse and posted a wanted thread in the eventing forum, I think. We removed the thread letting her know that horse wanted threads weren't allowed, but she might find a suitable horse offered in Giveaways.

She later submitted a wanted thread to Giveaways, and the horse she was looking for exceeded what we allow requests for in that forum, which is light riding, companion, husband-type horses, so we sent her a note explaining why her thread couldn't be approved. Doesn't mean you can't find her kind of horse there, but we don't allow folks to advertise for one.

4) Jane Savoie thread: started by random people talking about the video series. Jane has commented on it, thanking people for the feedback and answering questions. At last check, OK, per above. She can't go on that thread and do a hard sell and provide a price list, etc., but she can answer questions people ask.

5) Products: Selling saddles, tubs of supplements, blankets, etc.

The general rule:


Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

This is again intended to avoid the use of the board to buy and sell specific items. May we direct you to the classifieds on the bb or www.chronofhorse.com for that purpose? ;)

Yes, we allow representatives of products to provide general comment on threads, which could help promote their product and make a sale. They are, though, a good source of facts straight from the company's mouth, and we don't feel it's fair to not allow them to respond to comments/criticism/questions.

In the case of the OP's infraction, we'd prefer not to go into the specifics of poster's histories and our past contacts with them, but in general, she'd already responded on the thread itself, which was fine, but she followed that with an unsolicited email--obtained from the user's profile on the board--advertising the products she represented, complete with testimonials.

Sport's earlier post re: unsolicited emails, PMs etc. is the reason this practice is against the rules. Yes, it's basically impossible to enforce, but we don't think it's appropriate for people to be essentially spammed due to their participation on the board. And if someone complains, it's our job to address the issue.

----------------------------------------------

We hope this novella has addressed some of your concerns and questions! We going to close the thread because, as much time as we spend on the board, we can't keep up with individual threads to address questions effectively. That's why we encourage users to contact us privately--not for subterfuge.

We sincerely strive to provide the most fair and objective moderating possible on the board and have attempted to create and enforce rules that maintain a productive, enjoyable atmosphere (without putting the Chronicle out of business)!

We're looking at ways to tweak the advertising opportunities on the board to open up MORE "legal" advertising opportunties that are effective and affordable for big companies and little guys alike.

Thanks for expressing your concerns and for your interest in the board!
Mod 1