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Actually the APD *does* have a pretty clear policy on advertising - in
short, it's "Don't."
While I don't think Art's intention was to write an big ad for Aqua Journal
(a judgment call on my part), I do see how it can appear that he did
There's a fine line here though - when is a post an endorsement and when is
it advertising? Obviously, some posts are so plainly "ads" that there's
no question about it is but others, such as Art's, seem to inhabit some
gray area. I don't want to limit the opportunity for subscribers to
advise us of positive and negative experiences with vendors - a "service"
that I think is valuable; at the same time, I am strongly commited to the
"no ads" policy of the APD. Many times it comes down to a gut feeling but
we all have to be aware that my gut feeling may not coincide with someone
I think the best policy is this: if you have a post to make that you
suspect might be construed as advertising, send it to me. If I think the
post is appropriate I'll forward it to the list. If not, it'll appear
back in your emailbox with a note saying "Thanks for sending it; it smells
like an ad to me." Other than moderating the list, I think this is the
most foolproof way to handle this.