Desi Davila Video, FTC Regulations and Full Disclosure

LetsRun.com
April 2, 2013

Below, there is a well-produced video with Desi Davila that was posted on the on the Flotrack website. It was drawn to the attention of LRC in this message board post.

Steve Soprano who did the LRC homepage this morning liked the video so much he made it quote of the day on LetsRun.com.

There is only one problem with the video. It is a paid promotional video from Brooks and not denoted as a paid promotion on the Flotrack website.  

We wrote Flotrack to confirm this and editor Mitch Kastoff wrote us back saying, "The Desi video is sponsored by Brooks."

LetsRun.com believes in full-disclosure. If someone is paying us for something on LRC, we denote it. It is a basic requirement of journalism/business.

More importantly, it is also a basic requirement of the Federal Trade Commission ((FTC) - more here, here, and here).

While not a hard rule for us, generally LetsRun.com is not going to link to promotional material. We're definitely not going to link to promotional material when it's not disclosed properly. That is deceptive.

In this case, we had already linked to the video, so we're going to leave the link up with this page explaining it.

This has been an ongoing concern of ours with Flotrack, being unable to determine when something is news and when something is part of a paid promotional package. It is something we've brought up with them privately in the past and yet nothing has changed. Hence this post as Steve fell victim to it in this instance.

There is nothing wrong with doing promotional pieces. They just need to be denoted as such because when someone is paid to do something they are going to present it differently than a journalist.

Without further ado, the Desi video:

LRC Editor's highlights: Desiree Davila talks about the injury that forced her to drop out of the London Olympic Marathon and her comeback from it since. She caught some criticism back in the summer for going to London knowing she was going to drop out, but interestingly, she said that they considered giving the spot to the next person in line, but the alternate was also injured. She didn't find out until after the Games she had a stress fracture.

Coming back from this she said it's hard to think about racing and motivate herself, but that she's thinking about the Games 4 years from now for motivation.

7 months after London she's finally in training mode as she talked about a 3 x 2-mile workout where she ran 5:50 pace for the first, 5:40 for the second, and 5:30 on the third and said, ""It felt smooth. I was like, 'This is a real pace and I hit this workout.' However small the workout was I was excited to hit that and feel good about it. And then I called Kevin [Hanson] shortly after and was like, 'I need a schedule.' Once I asked Kevin for a schedule, it's like 'All right, now I'm training, not just out here goofing around.'"

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