Why does everyone have such a huge problem with mom bloggers getting paid to endorse products? What is the deal with that?
Does anyone actually believe that Jennifer Aniston uses Aveeno moisturizer? No. We all understand that she is paid to effectively “endorse” a product by using her image to advertise it, right? Same thing goes for any celebrity claiming to use Cover Girl cosmetics. No one has a problem with people being paid to be the face of a product. We all understand that’s how advertising works. So why should it be so different in the blogosphere?
The Republic did a story this week titled, As Mommy Blogs Grow, So Do Questions and Conflicts. It uses a few anecdotes to illustrate the changing landscape of blogging; marketing firms and companies didn’t always approach blogs for advertising and product placement – now they are:
Companies have different levels of comfort with the idea of directly paying for mentions, but the Federal Trade Commission has long seen such interactions as a business relationship that must be disclosed.
In March, the FTC staff updated online advertising disclosure guidelines first published in 2000, adding new requirements meant to make it as obvious as possible when there is a connection between the writer and the company or product being discussed. Even if money doesn’t change hands, accepting free products must be disclosed.
Companies have different levels of comfort with the idea of directly paying for mentions. Really? Since when? They pay for advertising and product placement all the time. Their business pretty much depends on their ability to market their product effectively. Why it’s considered unethical at all to do that marketing on a blog is beyond me.
Obviously, bloggers should disclose when they are being paid for product placement and reviews. But I don’t understand why any reader would have a problem with a blogger accepting payment to be a spokesperson for a product – and why this “conflict of interest” discussion always comes up. If I’m telling you I am being paid to write about something, you can still benefit from reading about a product that might interest you. Take it with a grain of salt. It’s advertising. Moms bloggers spend a lot of time building a brand and audience. Why shouldn’t they be able to make a living off of their work, too?