At Bust, Some Test Products Just Aren’t Given Back

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From David Hirschman‘s fascinating two-part feature for mediabistro on the ethical, editorial and social guidelines for writers and editors who get freebies, and those who “test” them:

Editor Tracie Egan from Bust magazine, who tries out everything from fold-up bicycles to sewing machines to vibrators, notes that for reviews of dildos, vibrators, lube, and pornography, Bust does not return test items. “Clearly, these companies do not want these items back after a test drive,” she notes. “And we certainly don’t want any prods back in the office once they’ve made the trip ‘downtown.'”

The best Bust anecdote and, perhaps, best ever:


Egan: “I guess one mishap worth mentioning was when I reviewed the DIY dildo kit, in which you make a dildo from a mold you create of a real ween. I read the directions and everything, but sometimes with product samples, they won’t include the whole packaging. Apparently, there was this ‘tips’ sheet that I didn’t get that suggested you apply Vaseline to the balls of the dude you’re casting. Since I didn’t do that, the plaster got all stuck to my boner donor’s ball hair and it turned out to be really painful for him. I had to get very close to his skin with some scissors to set him free, and he wasn’t happy about that. That product sucked anyway.”

Testing the Limits: Where Media Companies Draw the Lines on Keeping What’s Given
The Trials of Testing