I always said it was inevitable that marketers would turn to blogs as they became more mainstream and popular. When you consider the millions of eyeballs they command, how could they not? Any medium that reaches loyal viewers is viewed as red meat by marketers, advertisers and PR flacks.

Sometimes this has nice perqs for bloggers, even miniscule ones like me. I get sent books to review and DVDs, which I really appreciate. And they keep offering me new ones, even if I haven’t reviewed the last one (and most will never get reviewed here; I don’t have the time or inclination). I was also surprised when a media buyer wrote and tried to negotiate putting banner ads on my blog. (No way, ever, unless I can control what banners they put up.)

Now I see they’ve created yet another “marketing tool” called Blogversations in which advertisers pay bloggers to discuss certain topics or questions. Check it out, and maybe you too can become rich by blogging! (Though I highly doubt it.) My friend Jeremy wrote up this bad idea a few days ago and has some interesting thoughts.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

Sounds like a good way for an uncrupulious individual to send out false rumours. Get bloggers to discredit your rivals.

Aside from the advertising perspective this sounds like a 5th column/propoganda network in the making or a way to boost newspaper sales by getting bloggers to talk about something then publishing a “scoop” on it when the buzz reaches a certain pitch.

People look to blogs for the truth, or at least non media views on the truth, and now corperations are looking to harness this for their own benefits, and best of all because blogs are not part of a news paper or a television stations they wouldn’t be regulated by existing laws and would be protected by the free speach aspects of the constitution making it hard to shut down a site that for example was tryign to push up or down certain companies stock.

This is not a good sign.

would one of these topics be paid for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and Kerry’s war record?

September 4, 2004 @ 9:25 pm | Comment

Sounds like a product placement, or the Truman show in a way. Its a natural tendency for people to spread the usefulness of something they really enjoy or find really useful by word of mouth/blogging. In this case, aren’t you incline to review the product positively since its free?

September 5, 2004 @ 12:23 am | Comment

What an amazing co-incidence. I just posted about product placement in blogs a few days ago myself. I’m amazed it’s taken so long. I’m also amazed you’ve been receiving things gratis in the hope of a review or what have you…how did that come about?

September 5, 2004 @ 8:14 am | Comment

That link is here.

September 5, 2004 @ 8:32 am | Comment

If the price is right

Only the other day I was talking about product placement in blogs. Then I discover it’s already happening and that Richard has been receiving free books and DVD for his consideration and possible review. My offer still stands….

September 5, 2004 @ 8:53 am | Comment

Simon, I have no idea, but the books and DVDs are always for pro-Kerry material, so someone knows what i’m writing about.

September 5, 2004 @ 10:49 am | Comment

Melissa, no way — I won’t write a positive review of something I think is crap, as that will cause me to lose credibility (if I have any to begin with). When I was in journalism I was sent free stuff all the time to write about. If I hated it, I would say so. It’s their risk when they send it to me.

September 5, 2004 @ 10:54 am | Comment

ACB, I agree with you. When you’re actually getting paid to discuss things, it’s hard to impossible to retain your integrity.

Simon, great post on product placements, and you have a great point about InstaPuppy!

September 5, 2004 @ 10:56 am | Comment

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