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What adverising do we allow?
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jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26610
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 9:07 am    Post subject: What adverising do we allow?  Reply with quote    

I am opening up this debate, as a result of Cab pointing out that a link in a post on the forum (which is not what I consider advertising on the site) contained not just some interesting and environmentally sound products, but also dodgy slimming pills

When I started this site, with the idea of free advertising for ethical businesses, I knew that there would be difficult areas, and I was keen to get people with opposing views on issues to my own on board, to give us balance in the direction we took the site.

The issue of what could be advertised was very much on my mind and I was pretty confused as to how we should deal with it

I think I have come to a clear view myself now but this site is meant to reflect the views of the membership. So I will state my view and see what people think.

My view is that in order for the site to be successful for people who advertise products and services via the site, then it must be apparent to people looking at advertising on the site, that the "ethical" basis of our advertising is meaningful.

If we allow advertising that is ethically very controversial, then we will undermine the site for all the people offering other goods and services. Thus I think we should not allow such advertising.

I think this is a fairly easy rule to apply, for example there has been a debate about fair trade coffee, but I think most people would accept that someone wanting to advertise fair trade coffee ought to be given the benefit of the doubt.
equally we have allowed:

http://www.downsizer.net/Products%10Services/Crafts/Worried?/

which classifies as harmless fun, but I think we could not allow "Crystal Healing" etc.

Opinions?

jema

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41859
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm not happy with the idea of anything which claims 'medical' benefits. That is obviously my personal view, and I will bow to the will of the people if necessary.
Cheers, Sean

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44094
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'd broadly agree with healing & therepeutics not being allowed, but what if one of our users is a homeopath or chiropractor?

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26610
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Without getting into the Homeopathy debate, a very large % of people including me, regard it as vevy dangerous BS.

If I as a punter came across a site claiming an "ethical" view point and saw such things advertised, I would run away very fast. I accept that other have a different point of view, but my reasoning is that we need to support the broader base of our advertisers and hence we must avoid things that would send a lot of people running.

jema

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44094
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Fair comment

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm also chary about 'New Age' techniques, healing, tap-dancing Celtic dolphins, ear candles and all that sort of stuff. If if can't be proven to a curmudgeonly sceptic to work, don't advertise it!

At the risk of drifting off-topic, has anyone here any experience with biodynamics (something that I've always associated with tap-dancing dolphins, but which has strong adherents, including Bob Flowerdew)?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44094
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gervase wrote:
has anyone here any experience with biodynamics (something that I've always associated with tap-dancing dolphins, but which has strong adherents, including Bob Flowerdew)?


MarkD (admin on the RC forum) farms his plot using biodynamics and has promised to write an article on the subject for us.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

But the slimming pills -work-. They work to reduce the amount of fat you take up. They're made from chitosan, which is a waste product of the shellfish (prawn and crab) industry. It would otherwise go to waste (in fact, there's still more shellfish waste than can be processed).

It isn't unethical as a matrial. Nor is it new age.

My beef with it is that it's part of an unethical approach to getting fat out of your diet. Eat less fatty food and do more excercise, that'll lose your weight for you. Don't take a food supplement that will lead to you needing other food supplements to make up for the vitamins leached out of your diet with the fat, which will require you to drink a lot more water, and which will give you *ahem* slimy stools.

I have no beef with letting people know that at this web site there's some good stuff (the degradable plastic bags, for example, seem good). I've just got a bit of an "Ewwwww, that's disgusting" response to chitosan.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26610
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My problem is that though these may be okay, they fall into the same "mould" as all the phony BS.

When I see that sort of thing, I think its a scam and move on. I do not want people coming to this site and doing the same.

If we want to challenge poeples ideas on what is and isn't BS, then the forums are free to debate in. But front page advertising of this sort is a very different matter.

jema

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jema, while I accept what you're saying totally, I com eback to the basic position that this isn't a scam, it's just icky. Once we start discounting things because they look like scams, even if they're not, then we're on very shaky ground. And once we start blocking reccomendations for product (a) because product (b) from the same company is ineffective, we're on a really sticky wicket.

Remember, high street pharmacists sell homeopathic 'remedies'; do we now refuse to reccomend a pharmacist stocking old fashioned materials like sodium hydroxide, saltpetre or witch hazel because they also stock homeopathic nonesense, magnetic bracelets and the like?

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26610
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'd be happy for us to advertise this company, but not if the advert was for the slimming stuff specifically.

I think we have a duty to all of our advertisers that we "look" squeaky clean.

jema

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Since when has Bob been into biodynamics? First I've heard...................

This is a very difficult issue; maybe one or two Moderators/Admin should take on sorting the wheat form the chaff and decide what can/can't be advertsied. Not easy, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26610
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There is a line, and whereever there is a line, it is possible to contrive a case that falls into a grey area. But i'm hoping that in practice the grey examples will not crop up often.

If they do, then I think a quick poll in the staff room should sort things. It would probably need to be some sort of two thirds majority poll reflecting the fact that if a significant number of people thing something should be blocked, then it should be, but we can cross that bridge if we come to it.

jema

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44094
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:
we can cross that bridge if we come to it.


Agree

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 04 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Proberbly the reality is going to be that most sites will have some feature that is less disirable. Perhaps we should go with the flow, and emphasise the good bits.

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