When I first launched The FT Times, back in October 2017 it was a way for me to finally showcase MY voice after nearly two decades working as a Fashion & Beauty Editor. Plus, I find that continuing to create content keeps my current freelance status in a much happier place.
As a writer and stylist, I produce features that work to complement a magazines ‘house-style’. The tone and text is carefully crafted by an editorial team so that they are always resonating with their readership.
Brands who feel that their products are also in line with that readership will send samples to try out or gift products. Whether it be a new beauty launch or a celebrity spotted in their clothing brand, the idea is that the journalist has the information, should you wish to include it.
The final decision is entirely down to the writer, stylist and editor as to whether the brand or product fits that feature, works for that issue and is something their readership will find useful or need to know.
That is unless it’s been paid for by the brand. When a brand wants GUARANTEED coverage in a magazine, it will pay for this lucrative space. It won’t want to look like a direct advert (although they can pay for this too but the price is more expensive) so instead it’s called an advertorial – a seamless mix of editorial content, in line with the magazine house style with a softer advertising approach.
Which leads me onto my blog and why I now have this Disclaimer page. As an experienced and responsible journalist, writer and stylist, I want you to know this. It’s how the cookie crumbles.
In many ways, The FT Times functions as a magazine – except it is 100% my voice, innit! The best compliment to date was from someone who messaged saying that she doesn’t buy magazines anymore, she just reads the blog – which is lovely, but as an old skool print journo, it’s all about keeping that industry going too and yes the digital landscape has changed the way we consume information now, but I’d like to think ( and hope) that there’s room for both.
So back to the Disclaimer – it’s an ugly page, I know – but it’s a necessity to comply with the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) and their standards on how information is presented to a consumer.
Plus those four words up there, hopefully help explain why this page exists.
I will always tell you if something has been gifted or sent to me to try out. I won’t be tagging things in codes like some bloggers and influencers do because in my opinion it can ruin the reading experience. But you will always know. Scouts honour.
I only ever feature products on The FT Times if I love them, they work and you need to know about them. If I get something that I’m not a fan of, I won’t include it. Simples. If a brand has paid me to feature their product then it will be clearly marked, AD.
Finally, it all boils down to trust. Well, it’s not my middle name ‘per se’, but four of the letters are in my surname, innit! Nah, seriously, I’ll leave this last one down to another testimonial that came from a new reader who messaged me saying “You have a very fresh and trusting voice.”