All shingle manufacturers have regional representatives, and these reps have a variety of duties. They travel a lot. Oregon Roof Consulting (ORC) has personally met five of the six local reps. The sixth one has been phone contact only. I have known a few of these reps for many years. They are all certainly professional and very good at what they do. They represent their employers well.
Recently, a rep who I haven't spoken to in about five years called. We were having a nice conversation when he took an abrupt left turn and proceeded to lecture me about not being as "unbiased" as I claim on my website. What set him off was that he had been told that I had the audacity to tell a client that my personal preferred shingle was not the one he promotes. Now, all shingles are good quality. They must be in order for manufacturers to be competitive and remain in business. In my opinion the install is just as important as the shingle, if not more so. You can have the best shingle obtainable but if it's installed incorrectly then issues will arise.
All shingle manufacturers offer rebates and incentives to contractors who sell their products. They reward contractors who support them and who demonstrate 'distinctness'. At times reps tout roofers who predominantly use their products. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Wink wink, nod nod. This is a long-standing and perfectly fine arrangement. In this regard the reps can be considered 'biased'.
Now, the last time I checked we still had free speech (for the most part) in this country and I am entitled to my opinion, which I occasionally offer to clients for their consideration. How they use my opinion is beyond my control or concern. With 39 years experience as a grunt, installer, contractor, estimator, project manager, and now consultant I feel confident offering people an opinion based on my career experiences, personal anecdotes, and observations.
I explained to this rep that I am indeed biased in some regard, meaning I believe plywood is better than waferboard; tearoff is better than overlay; hand-nailing is more efficient than air guns. Don't put anything rubber or plastic on a roof unless there is no other option. I am completely unbiased in that my reports and advice are not influenced by any outside source. My findings are never automatic and pre-conceived just to please someone. Sometimes people don't like my findings. I stick my neck out for nobody.
In closing, I told the rep that if someone doesn't like how I operate my business or if they object to my website content, they should seek entertainment elsewhere. It's kind of like TV. If you don't like what's on then change the channel.