Padtronics operates under the following ethics policy. All editorial staffers are required to abide by it, as are freelancers and contributors while they produce work for the site.
WE DON’T SELL ELECTRONICS
We do not sell electronics, period. We are not a reseller. We may produce our own merchandise, including but not limited to t-shirts, stickers, and beer cozies. We produce Padtronics merchandise using third party manufacturers and a distributor. Should we ever produce merchandise in partnership with individuals or companies outside of Padtronics, we will disclose those relationships.
We have advertisers on our site, and they are our main source of revenue. Our company has its own advertising team responsible for selling ad space on our site. We do not accept money or other consideration from companies as a condition or incentive to write a review or story, whether favorable or unfavorable, on Padtronics. All reviews and other editorial on Padtronics are based on our editorial discretion, and not based on the desire of any company, advertiser or PR firm. Our editorial staff may not interact with the sales or marketing teams of companies or advertisers that offer products that may be reviewed by us. Advertisers don’t ask us to cover their products, and we don’t comment about their ads. Our policies do not permit placements of advertorial on Padtronics. Any feature or area on Padtronics sponsored by a particular company or advertiser is developed independently by editorial without intervention or advice from our sales team or any sales partner or client. We will endeavor to clearly mark any advertisement or “infomercial” (videos, Flash animations, etc.) shown on Padtronics as an advertisement.
Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may be paid commission on sales of those products or services we write about. Those links are generated independently of editorial, and our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships.
Padtronics obtains news and content from a variety of sources. Some of our sources do not wish to be named, and our policy is to honor such requests and keep these sources anonymous without exception. Please note that our general policy is that we do not provide compensation for tips.
We do not invest in companies that we cover, and employees are forbidden from owning, trading, or buying stock in companies we cover or companies in the general tech sector, without exception.
We don’t take free things from companies, or from their PR firms. This rule is simple and we stick to it, but we’ll illustrate it a bit further.
We do not take free or discounted merchandise, whether it’s a $500 phone or a $1 thumb drive. Any merchandise or gifts handed out to us at events or other industry gatherings (commonly referred to as “swag”) is given away on the site to our readers, because we’re nice people, but also because we simply do not keep free gear.
We do not take free or discounted services. We do not allow trips or any portions of trips (including but not limited to airfare, hotel, or car rentals) to be paid for by third parties (these are known in the industry as “junkets”). Padtroncs and Padtronics pay for editors’ travel expenses to all events, including transportation, food, and hotels.
We do not accept meals or gifts from companies or their PR representatives.
See the section on review units below for more on this topic.
Our editors and news writers are often asked to appear in a professional capacity as experts on various television, news, radio, or other media. These appearances do not constitute endorsement of any products, companies, or services discussed.
Employees of Padtronics may not be otherwise employed by or receive compensation from companies that they are likely to cover as part of their news beat, nor are they permitted to have any advisory role (paid or unpaid) at those companies. In general, writers and editors of Padtronics are not allowed to conduct journalism for other publications without express permission of the Editor-in-Chief, and are, in all professional capacities, still subject to these same guidelines when acting in any other professional capacity.
SAMPLES FOR REVIEW / REVIEW UNITS
Companies may loan units, products or samples to our editors for a given period of time in order for our staff to review such samples and determine whether we will provide a review of the product on Padtronics. We do not accept any samples on any preconditions, such as, that we will agree to provide a review simply because the company sent us a sample. Please note that companies may provide these samples before the product is commercially available, in which case, we may agree to an embargo with the company or its PR firm. This means we agree not to publish the review until a given time. Most of the time (as in the case of laptops, for example) the review units are returned promptly.
Occasionally, an editor will retain a product beyond the stipulated review period (agreed upon by the editor and company or its PR representatives) for extended reviews. This is most often the case with cellphones, which are updated often. Our policy is that the review unit may not be used as a personal device of a staff member, except during the pre-determined review period.
Occasionally, we decide to review something which has not been provided to us by a company. In this case, an editor will either purchase the product for themselves (we buy a lot of gear), or Padtronics will purchase the product for the team.
From time to time, Padtronics will conduct contests and giveaways for readers on the site. We will post rules for each contest, which will be binding on contestants who decide to participate. Giveaways of products are not, and should never be considered, endorsements of the companies involved or their products.
Any employee of Padtronics who has a spouse, partner, or other close relationship with an employee of a company which Padtronics covers will disclose the relationship in their personal bio on the site. Furthermore, the employee or contributor may not cover that company or its products on Padtronics.
Our editorial policy does not permit the use of celebrity endorsements or testimonials, although celebrities may be mentioned or interviewed if they are bona fide users of a product.
Our editorial content is written by individuals, and each article represents the opinion or view of the individual writers. Any opinion expressed in content that appears on Padtronics is the opinion of the writer — whether an editor, staff member, or other contributor, and should not be construed as an opinion formally approved or endorsed by Padtronics as a whole or by Padtronics as a company.
These are guidelines and principles we follow by choice, and have determined as a group to abide by, because we think they are the best way to conduct our business. If you have further questions about our ethics or business practices, you should contact us here.
[This statement may not always cover certain columnists, but we’ll let you know when and if that should ever be the case.]