Mission Statement?

Friday, 19 February 2010

I try not to  make Get Lippie political - I've said before, it's all about the products and how they work as far as I'm concerned, but I thought I'd share this email exchange that took place today regarding a product that a PR firm wanted to see featured here my blog:

"Hi Louise,


Xxx from xXx here,

I'm writing today to see if you would be interested in posting a new piece of video content on http://www.getlippie.blogspot.com/

XXX is a fun new campaign encouraging you to get creative, take a look at the video here: XXX.com

...

We can pay you to post this video, to sign up as a publisher and for payment please visit xxx.com

If you have any questions please get in touch."
 
(emphasis mine)
 
My response was as follows:
 
"Hi Xxx


Thank you very much for getting in contact with Get Lippie.

Get Lippie does not feature sponsored posts, and nor do I accept payment for posts. Nor will I ever. I write about products I've tried and tested - 90% of which I buy myself for the purposes of review. All products, regardless of their source, are tested thoroughly, and the reviews posted on my site - good and bad - are, above all, honest and true. I also do not feature video content, and have no plans to do so.

I believe that the concept of paying bloggers to feature products (not to mention your requirement that the posting be in a specific format) to be a pernicious one, and one I have no interest to be involved with. Your products may be wonderful, and in fact I have tried them already, but I will be unable to be involved in this particular project at this time.

Again, I thank you for your interest in Get Lippie. I assure you that if your product is mentioned on my blog in the future, my review will be honest, thorough, in the format of my choosing, and I will NOT have been paid to feature them."

I'm reprinting it here as I thought it was as good as a mission statement.  What do you think about the concept of brands paying for posts?

EDIT:

It's been pointed out by another blogger (quite rightly) that my posting appears to misrepresenting what the email is actually asking people to do. I'm happy to make clear, and put right, that this email isn't asking for paid endorsement of a product, that it is in fact a request to rent "ad-space" on the blog. Whilst I'm more than happy to put that miscomprehension right - and I'm happy to have been corrected! - the above is still a genuine email conversation, and it was based on how *I* interpreted the request at the time it was put to me (actually I feel that the email from the company involved could have been much better-written to make their intent clear. But, then I would!), as such, I stand by my comments with regard to paid posts, and would like to make clear that my reply to the agency involved would still have been in the negative, for a variety of other reasons. Other people can, and will, feel differently. That's the beauty of blogging!



The foregoing post is merely a statement of *my* intent on *my* blog at this time.

22 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more! Paid posts undermine the whole point of consumer blogs, which is honesty and integrity, to my mind.

    Good on you for putting your morals first!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think it's a good mission statement. I've so far turned down all offers of payment, it's not necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think if the post is clearly marked as paid for and it is within the realms of subjects you cover on your blog so not out of context then acceptable. It should always be at your discretion - there should be no copy approval by client. An example maybe - a jewellery, cake, lifestyle brand that you genuinely like. That's my 2 penneth!

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  4. That's great! Integrity is so important and so rare these days, it's good to know that someone you trust isn't being swayed by savvy PRs and sponsorship.

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  5. I think it is up to the individual blogger to decide whether to take paid for content...on the one hand it may not fit in with your blog's philosophy, but on the other, if it helps towards buying more product to review, then I can see why some might be tempted. It is a blogger dilemma but a good one I think and the most important thing is you are true to your own blog and ethos. So well done for putting your particular ethos first with if I might say - a finely worded email!!

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  6. I received something similar a while ago and my response went something like:

    Dear X,
    Thank you for your offer. I'm happy for you to pay me to post on the condition that at the end I will say you paid me to post it, told me what to say, how to say it and gave me a word limit of 250.

    I never got a reply...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with mimi I think if you are up front about being paid and you are still honest about the products then fine. I'll bet that doesn't happen much though! I can imagine people who pay will be happy with negative reviews. Can't imagine doing it myself, its not my thing, and I also agree that to take payment in return for a positive review undermines the whole community.

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  8. Just to be clear, I'm not saying my thoughts on this matter won't change in the future - Get Lippie has already evolved from what I orginally envisioned it was going to be when it started, and did almost from the first post! - I just wanted to set down how I feel about things *now* and how I'm trying to do things at this moment in time.

    Whatever happens in the future, editorial control on Get Lippie will remain mine, I may decide to sell my ad-space, but I'll never sell my soul. I'm an accountant. I sold my soul years ago! I'm kind of stuck like this now ... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. The main reason I read beauty blogs is I'm tired of the glossy magazines and their thinly disguised advertorials..

    While the author of a beauty blog may not be able to test every product I want to see, and will have completely different coloring and skin than me, at least the reviews feel honest. When was the last time you saw a product get a slating in a magazine?

    I love that you have made a personal choice not to take the paid for content and your honesty when the product has been sent to you for free.

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  10. If they want to pay for a review, why not just ask a magazine? :P

    I don't think there is anything wrong with turning down a paid for review. I personally think it's a bit cheeky. You worked hard on your blog yourself and built it up from no followers to what it has now and they just want to cash in on that?

    To me, it seems like a slippery slope, you accept one paid for review, then others approach you and soon your "reputation" goes down the pan..

    Can you ever have a paid for review and be honest? I've never been asked about a pay for review before so I don't know how they work but in my mind, I can't logically see a company paying you to say something negative?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well said. I think you're perfectly right to make a stand

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  12. That's a great reply :) I think if people want to pay you to write about things, that's not nessecarily a bad thing, but if they want you to change pretty much every aspect of how you would normally post, and expect that paying you means that you'll instantly approve of their product, then it's definitely not worth it. One of the things that I love about (most bloggers) is their honesty and integrity - even if they've been sent something for review, there's still freedom of speech to say whatever you like without an editor constantly looking over your shoulder. xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. I applaud your integrity!

    however, if you said you were being paid to feature it, and were able to give an HONEST opinion, I wouldn't see what the harm was.

    That said, I doubt if they would be paying you to do that ;)

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  14. Great post, I have added a blog policy on my blog. I think that paid posts are a tricky issue that has some good debate material to it, but I personally don't like the idea of it. That's an excellent mission statement and all the more power to you! X

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  15. Well done, readers like me , when browse a great blog yours, we expect 100% honesty and when we know some1 is being paid , no matter how honest review was, i would assume that its money talking :/

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  16. I got the same email and I pressed delete. I don't even like the product they wanted me to promote.

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  17. In this day and age when money (aqnd freebies) talk, its refreshing that there are so many beauty bloggers putting their integrity and their beliefs first, no matter what.

    Whether or not a blogger decides to put paid or sponsored features on their blog, i would hope that they would value their readers enough to mention the case. Thank you for putting your 'mission statement' on here, it shows you value your readers and the integrity of your blog.

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  18. I'm adding it.

    They're not asking for my opinion on the product, or a review.

    It's a viral internet video campaign, an ad network... and they're looking for placeholders. They don't want my personal input or recommendation, they're just wanting to rent a space on my blog in the hope someone comes along and clicks on it to play it.

    I'm happy that it doesn't compromise my integrity to put an ad on my blog (sponsored or otherwise) :)

    I agree with you on sponsored posts though and it's an interesting discussion :)

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  19. Interesting, I also read that as asking for a paid for post, as opposed to advertising space, as Lipglossiping pointed out.

    I can understand paid-for advertising, but I wouldn't like to see paid for content in the main content area of a blog in a way which looked like the ad was "normal" content.

    Thanks for the clarification!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi - I think it's common for a lot of bloggers to get similar "offers." I think it's great you took the time to write them a detailed letter back.

    As a blogger myself, I've seen increasing amounts of these requests. I know it may seem rude, but I simply just don't respond. I'm not as polite as you are and often times, I don't know how to say "no" nicely.

    I get requests from companies, market research, and also other bloggers.

    It's overwhelming at times for me! Often times I just don't want to explain why my answer is "no, I don't want to advertise for you, paid or unpaid" - but I think you summed it up very well.

    I try not to say "never" to myself though. Sometimes you don't really know what the future may or may not hold.

    I think it would be great for you to feature your mission statement somewhere on your blog, but lol, it won't stop people from sending these types of requests. Often times, people just don't read everything.

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  21. I've had several of similar emails and my answer is always a three worded reply:

    "no, thank you"

    I don't explain why. They're not interested in me or my sites. They want to cash in on the viewing figures I have. If they cared one little bit about me or my videos/blogs then they wouldn't be telling me how wonderful my beauty/hair posts are. I can probably count on one finger the number of dedicated hair posts I've made.

    There's no need for me to take payment, especially from a company I've never heard of. Of course, if I was ever tempted by paid for content, my first comment will be "you know this will make no difference to what I write/say about the product". I'm not giving up my integrity over a few quid.

    ReplyDelete

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