“Bribing” Bloggers to give Positive Reviews

So Brandweek writes that General Mills recruited bloggers through their site myblogspark.com so General Mills could send free products and coupons to bloggers for their reviews. Sounds reasonable, right? Well what about the part where bloggers have to agree basically to only write positive/neutral things about their products.  Actual language … “If you feel you cannot write a positive post regarding the product or service, please contact the MyBlogSpark team before posting any content.”

Why is this wrong?

  • Because it gives bloggers a bad name as shills for free swag. Liz from Mom 101 describes this phenomenon best in a plea to mom bloggers to act like professionals
  • Because they also don’t insist that the bloggers tell their readers that they are getting the products for free

So kudos to General Mills for the effort to engage new media but I think it is back to the drawing board on policies.

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