[tweetmeme]Advertorials, cash-for-comments, those annoying Zoot Review adverts and A Current Affair: clever marketing tactics, or morally reprehensible acts designed to pass paid advertising off as honest comments from individuals in the know?
Whilst we may all agree that ACA is morally bankrupt, another issue that offers perhaps more food for thought is this: foodstuff samples provided free of charge to food bloggers – usually by marketing types – in the hope of receiving some ‘honest’ feedback.
Why do I mention this? Well of late I have been receiving a modest amount of samples, and offers of samples, from marketing and social media firms. At first I thought it was rather novel – after all I’m getting stuff for free – however with each passing offer I couldn’t help but feel somewhat dirty. Like John Laws, rolling naked through piles of Valvoline-oil-stained cash! You know what I mean.
I also feel, by accepting these offers, there is an expectation that I will not only write about the product, but that I will write favourably.
So what’s the ethical thing to do here? Eat the samples greedily and lean back in my chair laughing like an evil villain? Discard the samples and any further attempts to distribute additional foodstuffs? Or eat, blog and share an unbiased opinion of the good(s) in question?
What do you think?