As a consultant, a commercial copywriter, and a freelance media producer, it’s important that I inform you about where I stand in relation to my clients, advertisers, and sponsors. Integrity remains crucial to both my professional success and to my personal belief system. I’m fortunate to work only with client companies that share my core values, for whom I’m happy to advocate when necessary.
Affiliate links. On my personal sites, I often use affiliate links as additional streams of revenue. If you see a link to a product or service on any of the sites I manage or in any of the articles I write, assume that the link carries an affiliate relationship that could generate further revenue for myself or my clients. Affiliate links do not constitute my endorsement of a product, nor do they influence my chosen topics or tone.
Advertising. My personal sites utilize third-party networks to manage advertising inventory. I have the option to reject any advertiser for any reason, but I do not participate in actively recruiting sponsors. Clients sometimes hire me for advertorial or placed media content, in which advertisers may shape or otherwise control the final product. I do not participate in projects commissioned by clients or sponsors with whom I do not share core values. In those limited cases where my byline is attached to sponsored content, FTC regulations require sponsors and publishers to disclose their affiliations.
Client and employer affiliations. Over the past ten years, I have been paid for services rendered on behalf of the following companies:
- 1776/Benjamin’s Desk
- American Express
- Apple, Inc.
- Comcast NBCUniversal
- QuinStreet, Inc.
- Springer Nature
- University of Pennsylvania
Although the list above represents clients and past employers who supplied the bulk of my income, many more companies comprise a list of customers who have attended paid workshops or subscribed to service packages through my company, 2820 Press.
Personal brand preferences. Because I often write about personal finance and financial institutions, readers may wonder about my personal experience with financial products. My wife and/or I currently hold active accounts with the following financial institutions:
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Fidelity Investments
- PNC Bank
- Wells Fargo
I receive no preferential treatment or direct compensation from any of these companies because of my work as a writer, consultant, or commentator.
Stock holdings. At present, all of my personal and family investments consist of publicly traded mutual funds tied to published indices and actively/algorithmically managed funds over which I have no direct control. Over the past five years, I have held and liquidated individual investments in:
*I retain a trivial amount of shares in SIRI and XRX due to company dividends that are smaller in value than the cost of executing a trade.
Conclusion. I will always attempt to disclose a potential or perceived conflict of interest on my personal blog or on my Twitter feed, especially if a client or publication does not have the ability to publish a version of my personal ethics disclosure statement. Please contact me if you have questions about my professional relationships with any of my clients or previous employers.
Updated: January 31, 2018
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