Syndication guidelines for the Bazaarvoice network

These guidelines define the requirements, rights, and obligations of all parties participating in the Bazaarvoice Content Network. Bazaarvoice strives to deliver a superlative experience to consumers, allowing them to easily access authentic feedback and content from other consumers, retailers, and brands. These guidelines apply across a number of industries, including the retailer and supplier ecosystem, travel, financial services, and services. Because retailers and suppliers represent the widest participation, the majority of examples used are for the retail industry and the brands that supply the products offered by retailers. Finally, these guidelines hold true for all industries, with the appropriate adjustment for industry type. They define the general use cases that occur for companies participating in the Bazaarvoice Content Network. It is possible that use cases not currently imagined will occur. In that event, Bazaarvoice will make reasonable business efforts to define new guidelines to address the new use cases in a timely way.

Review syndication enables companies participating in the Bazaarvoice Content Network to collect review content and then share it with other companies that sell or market the same product or services. Bazaarvoice has defined general syndication guidelines to apply across all forms of syndication. In addition, Bazaarvoice has defined additional guidelines that apply to specific types of review syndication. These more specific guidelines override the general syndication guidelines. For example, some of the general syndication guidelines—such as the requirement that a review include information reflecting that it was originally collected elsewhere—apply to all syndication types. However, the standard syndication guidelines provide additional rules for standard syndication, in which brands or suppliers send reviews to retailers.

Syndication types and their more specific guidelines are:

  • Standard syndication
  • Reverse syndication
  • Intra-client syndication
  • Syndication direct
  • Marketplace syndication

General syndication guidelines

Syndication across the Bazaarvoice Content Network is regulated by the following guidelines. Bazaarvoice maintains these guidelines to:

  • Maximize the value of the syndication network to our clients and partners
  • Meet our obligation of providing an authentic and useful experience to consumers
  • Fulfill our commitment to preserving a fair and non-misleading shopping experience

Absent extraordinary circumstances, failure to comply with these guidelines will result in Bazaarvoice stopping delivery of the syndication service. Exceptions must be approved by the Bazaarvoice Network Syndication Guidelines Committee.

To syndicate content to the Bazaarvoice Content Network, syndication senders and receivers must provide Bazaarvoice with the product information needed to perform product matching. Successful matching is based on common content information being provided by both parties. If only one party provides the needed product information, or if a party provides only partial data, matching will not be successful and syndication will not occur. The product data feed should:

  • Be updated regularly. The minimum standard is to provide an updated feed monthly. The best practice is to provide an daily update. The next best option is to provide weekly updates.
  • Include all products to be matched.
  • Include complete product data, as defined in Bazaarvoice's documentation. Complete product data includes, but is not limited to:
    • Brand name. This should be the name of the specific brand of the product (such as Tide, Dove, or Galaxy), not the name of the manufacturer (such as P&G, Unilever, or Samsung).
    • Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), such as UPCs, EANs, or ISBNs
    • Manufacturer part numbers
    • Product name
    • Product page URL
    • Product image URL

Product matching

Bazaarvoice performs product matching based on the product information provided by the syndication sender and syndication receiver. The amount of time needed for matching varies based on the quality of the data provided by both the syndication sender and receiver. Automatic, algorithmic matching happens daily. The better the data quality and the more data provided, the higher the confidence level of the match. If only partial information is available, then Bazaarvoice will attempt to manually verify the match. Manual verification for low confidence matches occurs through a queue-based process with the Bazaarvoice matching staff, which will extend the time necessary to create matches.

Because of the dependency on product data coming from multiple parties, Bazaarvoice cannot guarantee successful matching, nor can we guarantee matches within a particular time frame. We will use our best efforts to successfully match products. Additional fees may apply if manual verification is needed.

Assuming sufficient data is available to make a determination, products will be matched if they meet at least one of the following criteria.

  • The products are identical
  • The only difference between the two products is the color, AND the color is not essential to the product. For example, we would attempt to match a black metal toaster to a white metal toaster that is otherwise identical, as the color of the toaster is not essential to its function.
  • The only difference between the two products is packaging, packaging size, or quantity included in the package. For example, we would attempt to match a package of 10 diapers with a package of 50 diapers, assuming the individual diapers themselves are identical.
  • One product is being sold as a component of a bundle which includes another product, and that other product is considered a minor accessory. For example, we would attempt to match a 500shade eye shadow set with a bundle that includes a 50-shade eye shadow set and a bag to hold it in.

Products will not be matched if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • The products differ in scent (as with different scents of perfume or scented candles).
  • The products differ in color, and the color of the products is essential to their function. Examples of products whose color is essential to function include makeup, paint, and printer ink cartridges.
  • The products differ in component materials (such as a black steel refrigerator and a stainless steel refrigerator, or a down pillow and a cotton pillow).
  • The products differ in dimensions (such as a 10 liter garbage can and a 50 liter garbage can).
  • The products differ in their intended users specifically (as with men’s and women’s shoes or adult and children’s medicine).
  • One product is merely a component of another product (as with a computer chip and a computer).
  • One product is merely a part of a bundle and the other products in the bundle are not considered to be minor accessories. For example, Bazaarvoice will not match an SLR camera body with a product bundle including both an SLR camera body and a lens.
  • The products are not sold as being in identical conditions (as with a new product and a refurbished product).

Product launches

If new items are added to a sender’s product feed, such as for the launch of a new product, and the sending party wants to ensure that Bazaarvoice conducts the matching within a specific time period, a case should be opened with the Bazaarvoice Client Care team. Bazaarvoice recommends 8 to 10 weeks of advance notice to allow time for matching and to address any gaps in the receiving parties’ product feed(s) that may be discovered.

Note: Bazaarvoice cannot guarantee 100% product matching success, as matching is heavily dependent on the quality and timeliness of uploaded product feeds from both sender and receiver.

Up-to-date business and technical contacts for syndication program

Companies participating in the Bazaarvoice Content Network shall maintain a business contact and a technical contact to help manage the program. Bazaarvoice will work with participants to identify contacts during the on-boarding process. Network participants shall inform Bazaarvoice of personnel changes and provide up-to-date contact information as needed.

Syndication senders send to the entire Bazaarvoice Content Network (in the same region)

The content sent by a syndication sender may be sent to all eligible syndication receivers in the entire Bazaarvoice Content Network where a valid product match is found. The eligibility of syndication receivers is based on the type of syndication the senders and receivers have purchased or otherwise opted-in for. This means that senders cannot select subsets of syndication receivers to whom their content will be sent.

For more information about intra-market syndication, refer to the section titled Content stays in the same region.

Syndication receivers receive from the Entire Content Network (in the same region)

Likewise, where a valid product match is found, syndication receivers will receive content from all eligible syndication senders in the Bazaarvoice Content Network. Eligibility is based on the type of syndication the senders and receivers have purchased or otherwise opted-in for. This means that receivers will not be able to select subsets of the syndication senders from which they receive content.

Content stays in the same region

Bazaarvoice has defined these regions for content syndication as common markets for

  • EU—Bazaarvoice will treat the European Union as a single region.
  • North America—Bazaarvoice will treat North America as a single region.
  • ANZA—Bazaarvoice will treat Australia and New Zealand as a single region.

When sending review content, by default, the review content is eligible to be sent only within the same region. Senders can send content to different markets or countries after providing written confirmation the products are the same (meaning they use the same components or have the same formulation).

The purpose is to maintain review accuracy by preventing review syndication to products that are not the same. For example, many products will have different active ingredients or components within different markets, even though they may have the same name. Additionally, some cultures value different things within products, making a review in one market or country unhelpful in a different market. Senders can choose to send content to additional markets, providing they provide written confirmation that the products are the same and accept all liability arising from any discrepancies.

Syndication of reviews in multiple languages

Syndication senders can send content in multiple languages. However, only content in languages supported on the syndication receivers’ properties will display. For example, a brand could send content in English, French, and Spanish to retailers that sell its products. If the retailer supports only French, then only the French language content will display. If the retailer later adds support for English and Spanish, these additional languages would then display as well.

Content is syndicated for all products

For a syndication sender, content will be sent for all products that are part of a syndicated brand. This includes both active and inactive products. This means that senders are not allowed to choose to send only some products from a product catalog. The purpose of syndicating content for inactive products is that they may still be carried at the retailer after the brand has stopped offering them.

For a syndication receiver, content will be received and displayed on all active products. This means that it is not possible to choose to receive only some products from a product catalog.

Authenticity standard for Bazaarvoice Content Network content

All content sent to the Bazaarvoice Content Network must meet Bazaarvoice’s Authenticity Policy. As the operator of the Bazaarvoice Content Network, Bazaarvoice maintains control of the Authenticity Policy. Bazaarvoice will halt syndication from syndication senders if content is found to violate the Authenticity Policy. Device fingerprinting must be included with submissions in order for content to syndicate, unless it falls under an exception in the Authenticity Policy.

The Authenticity Policy is enforced using industry-leading fraud detection technology and a team of analysts. This team monitors submissions to ensure that content is approved for publication and syndication only if it is free from fraud and spam and contains all appropriate disclosures and badges.

Moderation standards for content in the Bazaarvoice Content Network

In addition to the requirements of the Authenticity Policy, all content sent to the Bazaarvoice Content Network is moderated for appropriateness. To be eligible for syndication, content originating from brands or suppliers must meet Bazaarvoice’s Network Content Moderation Guidelines in addition to the moderation standards of the syndication sender. This means that some content may be approved to appear on a syndication sender’s property, but may not be approved to syndicate to receivers.

Because syndicated content will appear in multiple locations, the network moderation guidelines are frequently stricter than the customized standards put in place by individual syndication senders. For example, references to price, sales or promotions, or the location of purchase are grounds for rejecting content originating from a brand site in the Bazaarvoice Content Network. Depending on the syndication sender’s moderation guidelines, this content may still be available for the client that originally collected the content.

Content originating on a retailer’s site is not re-moderated according to the network moderation guidelines.

As the operator of the Bazaarvoice Content Network, Bazaarvoice maintains control of these standards and may change them from time to time, as needed to ensure the quality of content syndicated to the network and deliver the best experiences possible to consumers.

Display and content treatment

With the exception of content attribution to the syndication sender (explained below), syndicated review content will be treated identically to native review content in any location that reviews are displayed. This means that syndicated reviews may not be displayed in a separate location from native reviews, nor can they be filtered or sorted in some way to be treated differently. For example, it is not permissible for a syndication receiver to display all of their native content before the syndicated content. Both must be treated consistently.

Review response may be syndicated and displayed per the request of the syndication sender.

Content attribution

Content syndicated through the Bazaarvoice Content Network must be attributed to the syndication sender. The purpose of this attribution is to disclose that the content has been collected in one location and is being republished at this location. The standard for a desktop website is to include a graphic showing the sender’s logo and a written text attribution. For mobile properties, a text based attribution, disclosing that the content was collected at another location, is sufficient.

Attribution example

Links in the attribution logo and text statements vary based on the type of syndication. Regardless, all such links are implemented as <no follow> links.

  • For standard review syndication, inclusion of a link from the syndication receiver back to the syndication sender is at the discretion of the receiver.
  • For reverse review syndication, inclusion of a link from the syndication receiver back to the syndication sender is at the discretion of the sender.
  • For intra-client review syndication, inclusion of a link back to the original location is at the discretion of the syndication sender and syndication receivers.

Incentivized review disclosure

If any form of incentive was provided to the reviewer when a review was originally written and collected, this must be disclosed in order to syndicate content through the Bazaarvoice Content Network. Examples of incentives include but are not limited to payments, loyalty points, samples, or entry into a sweepstakes. Bazaarvoice has created a standard disclosure statement to be used in all cases. Incentivized reviews that do not contain the standard disclosure statement will not be syndicated to the Bazaarvoice Content Network.

For content senders, this means that content collected via incentives shall be marked as such using the <IncentivizedReview> Context Data Value (CDV). This can be done automatically for clients on the Bazaarvoice Conversations platform.

For content receivers, this means that content received shall be disclosed as such. To do so, the receiver should enable the <IncentivizedReview> Context Data Value (CDV) and configure display properly.

For all syndicated content, content receivers cannot pick and choose which reviews they want to display as this would violate the Bazaarvoice Authenticity Policy.

Additional instructions for how to set up incentivized reviews is available in the Conversations knowledge base or from the Bazaarvoice Client Care team.

Employee reviews

Content syndicated through the Bazaarvoice Content Network that was submitted by an employee of the content sender shall be disclosed as such.

Use of content outside of the Bazaarvoice Content Network

Unless otherwise specified, syndicated content received through the Bazaarvoice Content Network cannot be used outside the Network. The license provided to syndication receivers is limited to use of the content as part of the Bazaarvoice Content Network. Following is a list of acceptable uses for content received through the Network:

  • Appearance in whole or part on a product page, catalog or listing page, or search results for a desktop, mobile, or tablet website; iOS or Android mobile application.

Content is licensed to be syndicated on your site on the Bazaarvoice Content network only. Any electronic re-syndication or use in advertising is prohibited, including but not limited to:

  • Use in advertising, including but not limited to search ads, display ads, email, print, radio, and television.
  • Use on boxes or any form of packaging
  • Use on end caps, store signage, etc.
  • Use in analytics, other than that provided by Bazaarvoice

Syndication reporting

All parties participating in the network, both senders and receivers, agree to share data on the volume of content being syndicated. Parties working directly with Bazaarvoice to collect and syndicate content, or to host and display syndicated content, will have access to Bazaarvoice’s Inbound and Outbound Syndication reports as applicable.

Third-party content providers that wish to send content to the Bazaarvoice Content Network must:

  • Apply for partnership status under the Bazaarvoice Third Party Content Provider Program, and
  • Meet all of the standards and guidelines of the Bazaarvoice Content Network

Treatment of review content when joining the network

When new companies join the network by becoming Bazaarvoice clients, Bazaarvoice is able to import existing content already collected by the company prior to their Bazaarvoice partnership (“legacy content”). Legacy content is not eligible for syndication unless certain conditions are met and the content is approved for syndication by Bazaarvoice.

To request syndication be deactivated, submit a case to Bazaarvoice’s Client Care team. You will be required to do the following before the request will be considered:

  1. Provide a written explanation, identifying the specific reason for the deactivation request. The list of approved reasons is provided in the Guidelines for each specific syndication type. These include instances where the sender is involved in active litigation with the receiver, claims that the receiver is a “grey market” retailer, or otherwise where the receiver is not an approved seller of the sender or one of the sender’s approved distribution partners.
  2. Identify the specific retailer and all impacted properties.
  3. Provide a written statement, which Bazaarvoice will share with the impacted syndication sender or syndication receiver to explain why the content was disabled.
  4. Provide a contact name at your company that Bazaarvoice will share with the affected syndication sender or syndication receiver to contact in the event they have questions.

Once the request for deactivation is submitted, it will be reviewed by the Network Syndication Guidelines Committee at Bazaarvoice, which will evaluate the request and notify the affected parties.

Additional guidelines for standard review syndication

In addition to the foregoing general guidelines for review syndication, Bazaarvoice has defined the following guidelines for syndication of review content from a brand or supplier to their retailer channel partners (“standard review syndication”). In the case of standard review syndication, the brand or supplier is the syndication sender and the retailer is the syndication receiver.

Rules for brands and suppliers using standard syndication

To be eligible to send content, a brand or supplier must have opted in for standard review syndication. Additionally, the sender must create or produce the products about which reviews are being collected. For senders, all eligible review content for all products will be sent to all the retailers in the Bazaarvoice Content Network. Content will never be sent to another brand or supplier. In some cases, a brand or supplier may not want content to be syndicated to a specific retailer. The following is a list of valid reasons for a brand or supplier to decide to not send content to a specific retailer.

  1. The syndication receiver is a grey market retailer.
  2. The products appear on the syndication receiver’s properties because of a marketplace relationship with another retailer.
  3. The products produced by the syndication sender are highly regulated, such as pharmaceuticals.
  4. The products and/or the brand produced by the syndication sender are related to guns or other weapons, sex, abortion, or other controversial topics.
  5. There is active or explicitly threatened litigation related to the products.
  6. There is active or explicitly threatened litigation between the syndication sender and syndication receiver.

Outside of those reasons, review content will syndicate to all retailers. For the sake of clarity, the following is a list of invalid reasons to not syndicate content to a retailer.

  1. The syndication receiver is not an authorized retail channel partner.
  2. The syndication receiver does not have a direct relationship with the retailers. Instead, the products are supplied to the retailer via a distributor.
  3. The Syndication Sender or Syndication Receiver are in non-related contract negotiations and want to use Syndication as leverage in those negotiations.

Rules for retailers using standard syndication

To be eligible to receive review content, a retailer must have purchased or otherwise opted in for standard review syndication. Additionally, the receiver must sell the products that reviews are being syndicated for.

For retailers, all eligible review content for all products will be received from the network. For the sake of clarity, content will never be received from another retailer.

In some cases, a retailer may not want content to be syndicated from a specific brand or supplier. The following is a list of valid reasons for a retailer to decide to not receive content from a specific brand or supplier.

  1. The products produced by the syndication sender are highly regulated, such as pharmaceuticals.
  2. The products appear on the syndication receiver’s properties because of a marketplace relationship with another retailer.
  3. There is active or explicitly threatened litigation related to the product.
  4. There is active or explicitly threatened litigation between the syndication sender and syndication receiver.

Outside of those reasons, review content will syndicate from all suppliers. For the sake of clarity, the following is a list of invalid reasons to not syndicate content from a supplier.

  1. The syndication sender or syndication receiver are in non-related contract negotiations and want to use standard review syndication as leverage in those negotiations.
  2. The retailer carries a competing private label product.

How to deactivate syndication for a specific syndication receiver or from a specific syndication sender

To request syndication be deactivated, submit a support case to Bazaarvoice’s Client Care team. You will be asked to:

  1. Provide a written explanation identifying the specific reason for deactivation as listed above from the valid list. If the reason is not on the above list, provide the business rationale for why the deactivation should be approved.
  2. Provide a written statement to be provided to the impacted syndication sender or syndication receiver.
  3. Provide a contact name for the impacted syndication sender or syndication receiver to contact in the event they have questions.
  4. Identify the specific retailer and all impacted properties. All such cases will be reviewed by the Bazaarvoice Network Committee, with a target turnaround time of 5-7 days.

Additional guidelines for reverse review syndication

In addition to these general guidelines for review syndication, Bazaarvoice has defined the following guidelines for syndication of content from a retail channel partner back to a brand or supplier (“reverse review syndication”). In the case of reverse review syndication, the retailer is the syndication sender and the brand or supplier is the syndication receiver.

Rules for retailers using reverse review syndication

To be eligible to send review content, a retailer must have purchased or otherwise opted in for reverse review syndication. Additionally, the retailer must carry the products that reviews are being collected about. A retailer may select which brands or suppliers they choose to send content to. For these brands or suppliers, all eligible review content for all products will be sent to the network. For the sake of clarity, content will never be sent to another retailer.

Rules for brands or suppliers using reverse review syndication

To be eligible to receive review content, a brand or supplier must have purchased or otherwise opted in for reverse review syndication. Additionally, the brand or supplier must create or manufacture the products that reviews are being syndicated for. For brands or suppliers receiving reverse syndication, all eligible review content for all products will be received from the network. For the sake of clarity, content will never be received from another brand or supplier. In some cases, a brand or supplier may not want content be syndicated from a specific retailer. The following is a list of valid reasons for a retailer brand or supplier to decide to not receive content from a specific retailer.

  1. The retailer is a grey market retailer.
  2. The products are highly regulated, such as pharmaceuticals.
  3. The products and/or the brand produced by the syndication sender are related to guns or other weapons, sex, abortion, or other controversial topics.
  4. There is active or explicitly threatened litigation related to the product.
  5. There is active or explicitly threatened litigation between the syndication sender and syndication receiver.

Outside of those reasons, review content will syndicate from all retailers. For the sake of clarity, the following are a set of invalid reasons to not syndicate content from a retailer.

  1. The retailer and brand or supplier are in contract negotiations and want to use syndication as leverage those negotiations.
  2. The retailer is not an authorized retail channel partner and/or is an aftermarket retailer.

Additional guidelines for intra-client review syndication

In addition to these general guidelines for review syndication, Bazaarvoice has defined the following guidelines for syndication of content between two related companies, such as between the web properties of two related brands or retailers in the same geographic market, or between the web properties for a brand or retailer in two different geographic markets (“intra-client review syndication”).

To be eligible to send content, the sender is required to:

  1. Purchase or otherwise opt in for Intra-Client Syndication.
  2. Provide a mapping file in a format specified by Bazaarvoice, with defined product matches between the sending and receiving sites.

Definitions

Bazaarvoice Content Network

Collection of content by Bazaarvoice and eligible 3rd parties on behalf of content senders that is sent to content receivers.

Syndication

Bazaarvoice’s syndication service enables a single piece of submitted content or aggregations of multiple pieces of content to reach many more users across the Bazaarvoice Content Network than it otherwise would if it remained only on the site on which the content was collected. Clients can receive syndicated content collected on the sites of other clients in the Bazaarvoice Content Network or authorized third parties.

Bazaarvoice Network Committee

Cross-functional team at Bazaarvoice that defines the guidelines for the network and rules on requests to activate or deactivate syndication.

Standard review syndication

For content that flows from a brand, supplier, and/or vendor to a retailer channel partner that sells the product to consumers.

Reverse review syndication

For content that flows from a retailer channel partner back to the brand, supplier, and/or vendor that manufactures and supplies the product.

Intra-client syndication

For content that flows from one website owned by a company to another website owned by the same or an affiliated company. Common examples are:

  • Two websites for different brands owned by the same company.
  • Two websites for the same brand, but in two different countries.

Syndication sender

Party that collects a piece of content originally, then works with Bazaarvoice to send that content to eligible syndication receivers on the Bazaarvoice Content Network that carry the product to which the content relates.

Syndication receiver

Eligible party that receives a pieces of content originally collected by syndication sender that work with Bazaarvoice to use the Bazaarvoice Content Network to distribute the content.

Product Matching

Process of identifying two products as the same, such that content can be shared between sender and receiver properties with confidence of accuracy.

Bazaarvoice Content Network moderation guidelines

PRI Guidelines (Price Reference)

If content in any way references a specific price of the reviewed product, any other product, or shipping, then code PRI. Such references might be definitive (“I paid $20.00”), comparative (“I paid less than $20.00”) or approximate (“It costs around $20.00”). Very general references to a product being, for example, a “good value” or having a “great price” do not warrant the PRI code.

The application of this code to a review will prevent syndication to a retailer website.

RET Guidelines (Retailer Reference)

If content makes any reference to any retailer, then code RET.

The application of this code to a review will prevent syndication to a retailer website.

PC Guidelines (Promotions and Sales)

If content contains mention of coupons, sales, clearances, or any other promotions, then code PC.

The application of this code to a review will prevent syndication to a retailer website.