Mama bloggers get a lot of free stuff. And that was one of the issues discussed at BlogHer ’09. There, I met many ladies who said the boxes of goodies would be piled high by the time they got home.
Companies look for cheap advertising in the form of positive reviews. And they often turn to broke mom bloggers with the promise of free stuff to lure them into a few kind words.
And as “green” has become the “new black”, many products are greenwashed, hocked to green-minded bloggers in the hopes that we’ll overlook some of the obvious faults and rebrand the crap the product for them.
Maybe you and I know to look for parabens and fragrance, but does the average blogger, who may gush over the “green”?
NPR’s All Things Considered looked at the swag issue on Monday.
One blogger, Trisha Haas of MomDot, told NPR,
We’re receiving a product for free. We’re excited it came in the mail. We’re going to possibly get traffic off of it, so by being positive, that’s the feeling we’re getting. Is it authentic? I’m not sure.
Here at Eco Child’s Play, many companies contact us looking for us to publicize their press releases or review their products. And personally, I like reviewing products…once in a while.
But while some bloggers may write sugar-sweet posts about every product they’re offered, we’re a group of writers, and each of us has the chance to ignore plenty of swag that we’re either not interested in or don’t agree with ethically. It’s easier for us. That’s why I don’t mind writing a couple cloth diaper reviews; I already liked the product and reviewed a new one.
But I understand it must be hard for those bloggers who are welcomed home by piles of crap mediocre products. Many take the “send it back!” approach. And one, Jennifer Taggart of The Smart Mama, said she mails the products back with helpful tips for the makers. I love that.
With new Federal Trade Commision regulations looming over blog writers, we all better shape up. Writers may have to be a whole lot more honest now about what they receive in exchange for their kind words, be it payment by cash or by free gear.
What do you think? If you’re a blogger, what do you do when you’re offered goodies?