Message from the Publisher

It takes a long time to earn people’s trust, especially in this business, where we are responsible for publishing accurate consumer advice and carefully researched purchase recommendations upon which many people rely to make important decisions that affect the quality of their lives every single day. Attaining this level of trust among consumers is incredibly gratifying and rewarding. I recognize just how difficult this is to achieve and how challenging it is to maintain. I also recognize how easily it all can slip away unless we are extremely dedicated to preserving the ethical business policies and editorial practices upon which our brand integrity has been built.

As publisher, my No. 1 job is to build, preserve and protect the integrity of our 50-year-old brand at all costs. It’s all about trust, and I take the job of guarding that precious commodity very seriously. Establishing a high level of editorial credibility obviously is a key ingredient in accomplishing these objectives. This particularly is true and critically important as it applies to determining the final selections for our published Best Buy recommendations.

Perhaps some of you have seen our Consumers Digest Best Buy Seal and product recommendations featured in TV commercials, on manufacturer websites and in print media, or heard them referenced in radio spots over the years. Inevitably, some people always will ask or wonder: How did Consumers Digest ratings become integrated with another company’s ads? The answer, of course, is through a formal licensing arrangement that grants a manufacturer specific usage rights over a 1-year term. All proposed media, marketing and promotional applications that reference us are reviewed carefully and channeled through an editorial-approval process before they can ever be used by licensees. These procedures are designed to verify factual accuracy and to ensure that all references to our ratings are presented in the proper context so that they never mislead consumers. All licenses are model specific and can be written only after an issue is published. And yes, we do charge a fee for eligible products to be licensed. Consumers Digest Communications is, after all, a privately owned, for-profit business entity (nonprofit is merely an IRS tax status—not a higher order of ethical business standards).

This program was designed first and foremost to help to identify products of exceptional value in the marketplace for the benefit of consumers. For the record: We never accept a penny from any company in exchange for granting one of its products status as a Consumers Digest Best Buy recommendation. We never have and we never will. There simply is no place at this company for that kind of short-sighted thinking. Our future depends on doing it right. That’s my promise to you.

Randy Weber