I received an email Wednesday from Stampin'Up! compliance department stating:
"We recently were made aware that your blog links to a site in which competitive products are available for purchase.
We want to remind you that Section 9 (d) of the Independent Demonstrator Agreement, the Competitive Activities Policy (Section 6.3) and the Internet/Web Site Policy (Section 6.22) of the Demonstrator Manual, state that demonstrators are not permitted to promote, market, or sell the products of other companies who offer similar products. This means you cannot promote competitive companies or post links to other companies who sell competitive products, including digital artwork."
Evidently someone in their infinite wisdom decided to 'turn me in' for noncompliance with the above stated policy. At first I was really kind of angry at both the 'anonymous' do-gooder that had turned me in and at Stampin' Up!. I am curious why that person didn't email me or leave a comment saying that I wasn't in compliance which I would have done had it been me. It seems like the intent was malicious and gave the informer some sense of superiority and that's why they didn't contact me! Then my next reaction was why after all this time had the informer decided to turn me in because I have been blogging since July of 2008 and no one had ever said anything because the SU catalogs have been on my side bar all that time. I think it might have been the title I put on the SU catalog on the right sidebar and where it linked to since the middle of the week. I had several emails from people wanting to know where they could get a matchbox die that I used in a previous project post so I called Stampin' Up! Tuesday and set up a demonstrator online web site so anyone who wanted SU access could order it through there and not have to search out a demo. I had one person tell me she had never seen or heard of SU until that post.
I signed up in November of 2008 as a hobbyist demonstrator (not to make money and still don't care about the money part) and had never been approached by any other demo except my recruiter and she was in the same boat in that the only other SU demo she had seen was her recruiter! I decided in 2010 to find out more and attended a meeting in Ft. Worth, a big regional event hosted by Stampin' Up! where I learned a lot about the product. I was so excited when I came home I contacted Stampin'Up! and requested information regarding SU up line and was given a local name and even attended a couple local meetings that were lead by people 6-7 demos up line from me. We were charged $5 to attend the meetings which were held once a month and learned various things about the products but once again I didn't learn anything about policies. I was told normally they don't have people at their meetings this far down line so I didn't go anymore.
After communicating with the compliance department at SU I was given information about the policies and how to find them on line in the Demonstrator Manual. I don't have time to read over the entire manual but I can plead ignorance over the policies until now because as a hobby demo the only thing I cared about learning was how to order my product at 20% off and I learned that from my recruiter before she disappeared out of my life. As time permits I will look through the manual and acquaint myself with the policies and just so you know as a hobbyist I don't expect to be treated any different then any other demo whether they be hobbyist or in it to earn money. I have complied with what the compliance department told me that I was in violation of and I have rid my blog of the offending links on my side bar and in my posts back to March 1, 2012.
I guess I should say thank you to whomever 'turned me in' at this point for making me aware of my ignorance... Nah, don't think I will. Have a blessed day.