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No Film School strives to keep our editorial coverage separate from our banner advertising campaigns. Our goal is to keep our coverage objective and our impressions of products, tools, and news uncolored by our relationships with advertisers past or present. To that end our writers generally do not know who is advertising with us and which ad might appear on which article. Here in the United States, FTC legislation 16 CFR Part 255 requires bloggers to disclose their “material connections” to products and advertisers, but we have found through experience that even if we attempted to include disclosures on individual articles, those articles may be read after a relationship with an advertiser has expired — or, conversely, a company who was not an advertiser at the time may later become one. After years of attempting to keep our post disclosures current, we have found it to be both inefficient and impossible. Ultimately, we have lost advertisers in the past because our coverage of their products was not to their liking, and we will continue to do so in the future as objectivity is of paramount importance to us.

Below is a more detailed breakdown of any other “material connection” particular to NFS — this goes both for this web site and the newsletter:

  • Ads are ads: in most cases, someone paid to run them here. Some ads are automatically chosen by Google Adsense or a similar program, wherein we basically cross our fingers and hope they’re relevant to you. We have explicitly eliminated irrelevant categories like cosmetic surgery, drug supplements, weight loss, religion, etc. but for the most part the ads are up to Google to target. The big G targets ads using the information they scrape from this site as well as your own browsing history — if this concerns you or if you’d like to opt out of such targeting, see here. This site is the same as millions of other Google-serving sites and has no control over such advertisements; for more legalese, see the following footnote.1
  • Many links on this site are affiliate links. There’s a lot of annoying spam in the affiliate marketing world, but if we’re talking about a camera or service we will use an affiliate link if one is available — for example, any Amazon or B&H Photo link is an affiliate link (“affiliate link” means we get a small percentage of any sale that results). That said, we also recommend plenty of stuff that doesn’t have an affiliate program — if we think something is helpful, we’ll write about it regardless. As you can see from those two links, affiliate programs are a very uninstrusive way to monetize a web site, as they fit in organically and don’t negatively affect visitors.
  • Along those same lines: NFS is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
  • We sometimes get free stuff (like a PDF of a book, for example) in order to review it. If it’s a digital good like an eBook or software, it didn’t cost them anything to send it to us, and if it’s a physical good like a camera or accessory, odds are it’s going back when we’re done reviewing it — we’re not going to gush about something just because we got special treatment. We will also disclose any such freebies in the post itself.

Finally, please accept the below images, courtesy Louis Gray, as covering all other remaining possibilities (though we doubt any writer for No Film School is “getting busy” because of writing for NFS).

  1. Here is some cookie-cutter (is that a pun?) information about Google’s advertising: When you visit this website, you may view advertisements posted on the site by Google or other companies. These advertising companies may collect information about you while you are visiting this website and other websites. They may use this data to show you advertisements on this website and elsewhere on the Internet about products and services you might like. This website does not collect the information or control the content of the advertisements that you will see. You may be able to opt out of such advertising. To find out more about Google and its DoubleClick DART cookie used to generate interest-based advertising, click this link. Your use of this website without opting out means that you understand and agree to data collection to provide you with interest-based advertising. Legalese out. []