While we do not have any problem with trade members contributing to the Forums, provided they clearly identify themselves, there must be a clear divide between answering a question posted by a user and flagrantly trying to sell them a specific product they make or sell.
So we've amended our House Rules and we'd like to draw everyone's attention to the new clauses we've just added:
9) Manufacturers, retailers, service providers and their staff are required to identify themselves as such in their signature. Any additional information – such as the telephone number, email and website address of the company – should be put in the user's profile, where retailers must also list all the brands they stock. 'Trade' members of the forum failing to meet these conditions will be removed, as will those the moderators suspect to be trade members posting under an alias.
10) The site must not be used to solicit business of any kind – this includes any information in signatures and biographies, and specifically prohibits trade users from linking within forum posts to their websites, special offers, etc.
Neither shall trade members use the forums to encourage members to contact them for special offers or advantageous pricing. Whathifi.com offers a range of advertising opportunities that can be used to promote relevant products and services – click on Contact Us for more information.
We'd also like to remind trade users of Clause 6 (X) in our existing Terms & Conditions, which everyone who registers for the site agrees to adhere to:
"You agree that, except where expressly permitted by Haymarket, you will not place on the Site advertisements nor make commercial solicitations nor use the Site for any commercial purposes (which would include using the Site to promote or encourage the sale of your goods/services)."