CPG Companies Beware: Some Bloggers Just Out for Free Product

Just this week we received the following email from a blogger requesting free product to conduct a product review for a client.  I removed the name of the blogger as my intentions are not to call out this blogger specifically, but to show why the FTC’s new blogging regulations are a move in the right direction.

Without regulations or guidelines, the blogging community is simply a free for all or as some might call it “the wild wild west”.  While I agree it would be better if the industry self regulated, that hasn’t happened and the government needed to step in to protect consumers and remove the curtain from corporations paying for blogger reviews

In the case of this blogger’s request, we declined because the blogger had very little credibility online and little traffic from what we could tell.  It was apparent the blogger was simply looking for free product, but had nothing to give in return.

I’d like to introduce myself, my name is _________! The reason I’m writing is because we’d like to invite you to allow us to do a review for you on our site. There are some sites/blogs that do this, and a small percentage of those charge a fee, plus test product, plus a giveaway product. We do not charge a fee. It’s wonderful advertisement for you! We only ask that you send a test (review) product(s) and offer an item(s) (and/or an assortment) for giveaway that you will mail when the drawing has been concluded. Unless we discuss my shipping the item. The giveaway is not required, but usually is a great event. We’ll happily post pictures of your product provided by you, and link to your site, as well as carry your logo of choice, and size, reasonably sized please. If you don’t have a “button” we’d be happy to make one for you for an additional minimal charge, depending on what you would like. We will do our best to make sure you are pleased! We currently have giveaways on our site right now. Reviewed products, under the same circumstances of your own. No payment, only product. Which I might add I think is tax deductible under research purposes. Possibly even under other deductions. I’m not a tax whiz! 🙂 Word of mouth advertisement is excellent, and honestly that’s how I make many of my purchases, is looking around to see who thinks what of said product. I would greatly enjoy welcoming you to our site for a review. We have had more than 2 of our articles featured on large blog networks. I’ll include a couple of links at the bottom of this email. We do work together, and we proof read for one another. We make a great team, and would like to welcome you to our sites if you’d like to be featured. Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you would please let me know a positive answer, I’d be very appreciative. Thank you

Jennifer Manocchio

After starting her career with Edelman in Chicago, Jennifer joined Sweeney and quickly established herself as an exceptional industry innovator. In 2004, she opened Sweeney’s first full-service office outside of Cleveland and quickly rose through the ranks to become agency president. Jen leads by example and without fear. She has been critical to agency growth throughout the past decade and continues to lead the agency into the future.