//
you're reading...
Stuff

To Review or Not To Review?

[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?

Advertisements

Discussion

7 thoughts on “To Review or Not To Review?

  1. From what I’ve seen around the blogosphere, the best balance seems to be accepting the products and then only writing a review of a product if your opinion is done the favourable end. If the blogger doesn’t like the product, they don’t write anything.

    Good luck working out what you want to do!

    Posted by Bee | August 29, 2010, 10:25 pm
  2. “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?”

    Man, this is a tough one. I’m most tempted to say do the evil villain thing.

    A fair few of the bloggers I keep up with have done reviews and at the end disclosed that they have dined/imbibed at such-and-such at the invitation of a PR firm or invitee – perhaps you could do the same? It’s only really a problem (in terms of objectivity) when a blogger solely blogs about the free stuff I get. That is, I’m less inclined to take their post as objective.

    Posted by Gem | August 30, 2010, 8:20 am
  3. my take is if you disclose you received their product for free, then you will consciously or subconsciously try even harded to give an impartial view. I dont buy into the theory of not commenting if you dont like the product, to me cash for no comment = cash for comment. If a producer of a product stands behind their product and provide it for free to a social commentator for comment, they should live with the unfiltered review, and after all, isnt that what blogging is about? Or you could donate the freebies to ppl that post comments on your blog.

    Posted by Leon | August 30, 2010, 4:31 pm
  4. These companies obviously value your opinion. Use this to your advantage; taste, drink, review and disclose……everyone is happy, so exploit a little!

    Posted by Rubstar | August 30, 2010, 8:37 pm
  5. It’s a tough one, and one that myself and Gem are about to be faced with – we are about to receive our first beer sample.
    I agree that it is novel and it made me feel rather special, but immediately after accepting the offer the issues you mentioned came to mind.

    As mentioned by Leon, disclosure is a must – whether it be by blogging about the specific sample received (and disclosing) or disclosing if you happen to refer to their product out of the context of the sample – as it shows there is nothing to hide.

    I (at this point) trust that I can accept a sample and still remain impartial. Let’s see how long that lasts for 🙂

    Posted by Tristan | September 2, 2010, 10:57 am
  6. No one has officially offered me anything … yet. But I am getting used to refusing free meals. Though I have accepted samples sent from the kitchen and some “complementary” coffees – but usually after the initial review has appeared. Most weird is struggling through language and cultural barriers to explain that, no, I’m not looking to charge a fee for a blog write-up.

    Posted by considerthesauce | April 12, 2011, 6:25 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Social Networks

RSS Recent Brews

%d bloggers like this: