The LLG Ethical Disclosure & Editorial Policy Page

ETHICS
I am a journalist, and I operate LLG on the same ethical principles. So, we thought we’d spell out the LLG editorial policy for you all:

We never write copy under editorial direction from brands or agencies (unless in clearly marked and paid for sponsored posts)
We never post editorial copy in direct exchange for product, ponies, handbags, cake, handbag-sized ponies etc
We never include commercial brand collateral in editorial posts at the direct request of a brand or agency
We never agree to attend events in direct exchange for editorial copy (unless Ryan Gosling is in attendance, then we can talk)
We never schedule editorial to run at specific times at the behest of a brand or agency
We always reserve the right not post a story, because of circumstances we cannot predict (fire, flood, torpor)
We need to know in advance if events we are asked to attend have exclusivity contracts with other media
We publish our own original photography, with very few exceptions
We never cover celebrity or red carpet news, and we do not run celebrity or red carpet wire imagery (with very few exceptions)
We do not run news about product unconnected with LLG
We do not run news from events we have not attended (so please don’t send us releases telling us what a marvellous time was had by everyone but us)
Whilst I hope that events I attend, samples I receive, or places I visit will furnish copy, I reserve the right not to post a relevant story in all cases.

Most importantly
Editorial content on LLG has never contained, & will never contain, any product mentions, positive reviews or SEO links  that have been posted in direct exchange for money, gifts or samples, or as a result of contra deals.

I will never mislead my readers where the origin of gifts, trips and product from commercial sources is concerned. That means I will always disclose if a product I write about or wear has been gifted, a hotel stay or meal has been comped, I have been on a press trip, attended an event hosted by a client, or been paid for a PA (personal appearance).

If LLG Consults, my digital consultancy business, has connections with any brand or agency that represents a brand that I cover on the site, however indirect that connection may be, I will disclose this connection.

SAMPLES 
I am always happy to receive relevant press releases & samples of product, on the understanding that not everything I receive will make it into copy and that I will always write my unbiased opinion. I reserve the right not to post a review.

HOTEL REVIEWS
As with 99% of British publications (and lacking the budget of my alma mater Conde Nast Traveller), we do take comped hotel stays for review purposes. However I apply the same principles from my hotel review work on CNT & The Sunday Times Travel section, which is to never, ever write a puff piece, and to never review well when an establishment does not deserve it.

If I say a hotel is good, then it is because I believe that it is, using all the experience garnered in my 10+ years of professional hotel reviewing. I aim for a balanced review, and will also mention the things that do not work that might – or might not depending on preference –  influence a stay. Over the years on LLG I have pointed out rip off internet charges, no internet, terrible restaurant food, poor access and several other worrying points in otherwise favourable reviews.

However I strongly believe that if you have been comped, then (unless the faults were so shockingly egregious that I cannot in all conscience remain quiet) then you have not earned the right to publicly slate a hotel, and I will simply not file a review. There has been comment that because I only post generally positive reviews then I must be giving undeserved good reviews to ALL places in which I stay.

This is not the case: there are several hotels around the world that I have refused to review for the site after a comp stay, as I felt they were not good enough to recommend. But, as my reviews generally rank highly on Google, I feel that it is unfair to permanently negatively judge a hotel stay for which I have not paid, especially based on a sole visit, and because bad reviews can directly affect many people’s livelihoods.

RESTAURANT REVIEWS:
I only review meals that I have myself paid for, although occasionally I will be comped a meal in a hotel in which I am staying, or will attend restaurant preview evenings or lunches. I do not directly review the food at these meals, although I will usually mention on Twitter & Instagram that I have attended such events, and may often write about the general experience or mention my attendance in copy, always with the disclosure that the meal has been comped.

This is because, whilst everyone can experience a hotel room in the same way (same bed, same pillows, same ambient noise etc) – and there is no way that a hotel can control the actions of, often, hundreds of  individual members of staff, if a chef and maitre d’ know a preferred guest is in the room, then there is nothing to prevent the extra shaving of truffles at the pass, the parade of special amuse bouches, and so on. Therefore the experience is markedly NOT the experience of an anonymous paying guest.

I markedly dislike bloggers who take free meals and imply that they have paid for them themselves. It is corrupt, unethical and downright dishonest.

SPONSORED POSTS

I do occasionally run clearly marked sponsored posts on LLG concerning events or product. Although these are remunerated, all content must be germane to the general tone & feel of LLG, and I and my agents reserve the right to decline any commercial collaboration if it does not meet this criteria.

GIVEAWAYS
I run occasional non-sponsored giveaways on LLG for products or experiences I believe my readers will like. I also run sponsored giveaways. If interested please email at contact [at] libertylondongirl.com to request the LLG rate card.

SPONSORSHIP
Occasionally LLG’s activities are sponsored. I am occasionally lent or given clothes to wear at events and, for example, Mercedes Benz provided me with a dedicated LLG car & a driver during London Fashion Week for five seasons, as part of my remuneration package for running their social media feed.

I will always make it clear to my readers that I am being sponsored and I will only use/borrow/accept product relevant to the blog and my interests.

Please write to us at contact [at] libertylondongirl.com regarding sponsorship opportunities.

If your query is about endorsements or brand collaborations please contact my agent Richard Gibb at Curtis Brown at richard [at] curtisbrown.co.uk

ADVERTISING
We do not run display advertising at this time. Please contact us to discuss future opportunities.

AFFILIATE MARKETING – PART ONE
LLG Recommends is my personal edit of products from all around the world that I think my readers will enjoy; many of which have discounts or special offers attached. I have affiliate marketing arrangements in place with many, but not all, of the companies whose products I recommend on this page.

Before you go thinking that I choose product for this page based solely on fiscal incentive, practically every on-line store in existence has an AM arrangement, so my recommendations can be based solely on my personal opinion. If I don’t personally like a product or company there is zero chance of it appearing anywhere on LLG, let alone on a page dedicated to recommending items that my readers may buy.
Commission from this section pays for the hosting and costs of running this website.

AFFILIATE MARKETING – PART TWO
Any AM activity on the LLG main blog will be by way of deep-linking within posts. As regular readers know, I often recommend items I like on LLG. These recommendations are free from monetary concerns, and represent my own honest opinion, unalloyed by any commercial decision.
For ease of use of my readers I have always linked, where available, to an on-line provider, usually picked at random from Google. Now that my blog has grown & I need to pay for hosting and other fun things, the on-line links that I provide to product I mention in copy will sometimes, but not always, be to companies with whom I have a small commission based agreement. (The so-called ‘deep-linking’.)
This arrangement has zero effect on my unbiased editorial opinion (practically every on-line store has an affiliate arrangement), and, as ever, no content will be driven by these considerations. There is no additional cost to consumers, as all commission costs are born by the brands.

TRIALS, FORUMS OR QUESTIONNAIRES
I will not take part in trials, forums, seminars, round tables or questionnaires for product development or marketing purposes without payment for my time & expertise.

GUEST BLOGGERS & COMMENTATORS
Any opinions expressed by any guest bloggers or commentators on this or any associated sites or micro-sites are theirs and theirs alone and are not to be considered representative of the opinions of the blog owner.

COMMENTING
I reserve the right to remove or edit any objectionable content posted by external contributors or commentators across the entire LLG digital platform. External content may not be illegal, obscene, defamatory, threatening, infringing of intellectual property rights, invasive of privacy or otherwise injurious or objectionable.

By posting or contributing content using these Services, you are granting www.Libertylondongirl.com, a wholly owned property of LLG Media, a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, and worldwide license to use your content in connection with the operation of the Services, including, without limitation, the license rights to copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat your content, and/or to incorporate it into a collective work.

COPYRIGHT

All original content is ©LLG Media 2006–2013. No words or images may be reproduced without permission from the copyright holder.

Most of the images on this blog have been shot by me. If I use alternate sources for photography or for illustration, I always try to credit where the original source is known. If I have either failed to credit accurately or someone wishes an image to be removed from this blog, I will gladly comply.

COOKIES

Since 25/05/2011 website owners are required by EU regulations to obtain consent to the use of cookies, which are small files loaded to user hard drives through most websites. Users can decide to accept, decline or remove cookies using their web browser settings, but users should know that declining the use of cookies can affect the user experience of this and other sites. (Cookies may be used for services such as analytics tracking, affiliate marketing, advertising servers. These cookies serve anonymous user information and are used by over 90% of websites.)

CONTACT

For any queries please email contact [at] libertylondongirl.com