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Advertising or declaring a financial interest


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As a new member, I find the forum both gripping and informative.

But I do wonder whether the Forum Code of Conduct goes to far in both banning advertising (a laudable aim) and also asking members not to post personal details, products or services on the message boards.

My feeling is that it would be better in most cases if members did what elected officials are obliged to do - declare when they have a financial interest in a product or in particular services which are the subject of the discussion.

If members told us which products they sold, or what services they supplied, we would be better able to evaluate the advice they give, and could take it with a bigger or smaller pinch of salt (or of chlorine, as appropriate).

Members who have no financial interests might also find it easier understand the sometimes intemperate responses from those who have.
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Hi Araucaria

I have just sent you a PM.

About your post, a brief explanation

With regards to advertising, as the forum is a part of Archant Publishing, my guess is that they want to make money by

asking people to pay for advertising on their website and magazines rather than have free adverts on the forum.

Forum members are allowed a link in their forum profile, which they

can, if they choose, link to their business. Most do.

Posting private details on the forum is not permitted, simply because they can be harvested for spam and to avoid instances of harassment.

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Welcome to the forum,

The thead to which you are eluding to is pretty normal for the forum.  The use of financial or commercial interest is normally an allegation thrown, its a sort of defence mechanism. When you consider the size of France or any other country unless the forum member is actually on the board or the sole distributor of an item then the is no way to influence "the market" It simply would not be viable to travel all over the country. 

It is human nature to defend a product you have purchased. It is not un common for a poster to ask advice of forum members on this forum and another forum close by. Having received around eight replies all saying the same thing, then to ignore the advice of all posters.

The most important issue is to be specific not ambiguous with your questions, as we only correspond by mail it is easy to mis-understand the question

The best parts are when people eventually contradict what they originally posted and then the forum members......well you can guess the rest.


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Yes, I'd agree that someone who owns one (as in that thread about swimming pools) has a moderate financial interest in the pool they have bought, in the sense that it would cost them money to change it. Most posters who are looking for information do their best to say what the problem is, and in doing so usually describe the type of pool they have. And yes, it's human nature to defend the product you've bought, particularly when it's a very costly purchase - as pools usually are.

But having a commercial interest isn't something I'd describe as an "allegation". If someone is in the business of selling pools or pool machinery/supplies then s/he has a commercial interest in the products s/he sells. That's what I mean by a commercial interest anyway. What you seem to be describing is (I think) more like market rigging which, as you say, is nowadays pretty difficult unless you happen to be a very large multinational. But we aren't very likely to be taken by Michelin saying that it's now a good idea to change your tyres once a month rather than when they wear out, or to use square ones (which just happen to be their latest product).

But in most cases we can (and if we have the time, should) be able to inform ourselves about the products that other posters sell, by visiting their websites. We'd then see their commercial interests.  I think if I had done so earlier I might have been less irritated by the relentless criticisms of rival products, presented as impartial advice.

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I take your point Araucaria,

And in defence of Poolguy, he has a very clear website address posted at the bottom of every reply he makes.

I on the other hand advise only, I do sell products but in the uk only as it is not practical at the moment to hop back and forth, or indeed would it be customer focused being 400+ miles away and having relieved them of their money.

On the criticisms issue, the only people who would not critise that system are the providers or their customers. I am sure you read the posts carefully, all the way through I have stated that the system works. The byproduct of that system is in one case 80000 litres of salt water.

Sticking just to the facts:

Does any other pool system produce a byproduct in such a quantity, NO

Asking the question: knowing now what a problem that system produces would you change to another, (like adding a chlorine gallet purchased from a bricoshed at minimal cost)

For the record I do not believe in man made global warming. I also do not believe in pouring that quantity of saline solution over the land either, be it not yet illegal but morally it is wrong.

Maybe as a suggestion, that person who has no option would carry out an experiment. Pour the saline all over their grass and gardens and let us see by posting pictures if it does have any effect.

P.S. Araucaria, as a citroen fan, have you seen this?




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