During Type A mom there was a luncheon/speaker session. This description was taken from the Type A Mom website regarding the topic:
Working with Companies
Companies want to work with bloggers, and most bloggers want to work with companies. From reviews to spokesblogging to direct blog advertising, there are many ways for the two worlds to collide. At the same time, there are questions about how to do it right. Experts from both the corporate/marketing side and the blogging side share their experiences and insights. Featuring Lucretia Pruitt moderating, Angela LoSasso, Stephanie Smirnov, Nancy Martira, David Binkowski, Jessica Smith and Amy Lupold Bair.
Let me summarize: Hypocritical Mess.
Now I am not saying there wasn’t a great deal of information exchanged, and I did enjoy watching Jessica Smith from Fleishman Hillard roll her eyes into the ceiling about 150 times out of frustration (and oh, yes you did Jessica), but what took the Little Debbie for me was David Binkowski.
A little background on David: He spearheaded the firm’s Word-of-Mouth Marketing division in 2005, leading hundreds of online campaigns representing numerous international and national brands for corporations including P&G, Outback Steakhouse, Evian, Eli Lilly and Company, Dressbarn, Underwriters Laboratories, Brother and Intuit.
Dude, this guy is a douche.
I had to actually walk out for a deep breath somewhere between him claiming that bloggers should have a lawyer and how his bloggers are authentic AND “well” paid. Then the discussion turned to professionalism on blogs. Basically if you want to work with a company, then you have to be professional. Low key on the “f**ks” and all that.
First off, I just don’t get it.
Don’t get me wrong, I went to college, I’m not an idiot. I understand the reasoning if Graco isn’t interested in sticking their brand right on top of some abortion rights activist blog online. But, and correct me if I am wrong, PR moved into blogs based on the real life draw they have, the actual discussion and interaction with their visitors, therefore why are bloggers now being told they have to alter their content in order to have company representation?
It was like a light bulb went off for me regarding who is really driving the ethics into the ground around here. How about….stop telling us we have to basically sit behind a desk and follow some corporate memo in order to be accepted.
Do you want ME telling my audience how I feel about your brand or do you want YOU telling my audience about your brand.
Because if its YOU telling them, just cough up the advertising dollars on the sidebar and lets be done with it.
If I started changing how I acted here to represent brands, then the brands would actually fail because my audience would be left scratching their head wondering when I sold out.
And make no bones about it, there are exceptions to the rule.
The panel had no problem letting us know that companies would fall all over themselves to be on the great Dooce’s blog and she could do what she wants, but Tide wouldn’t exactly be sponsoring The Bloggess (even though I personally thought her post was pretty damn memorable and did more for the brand than a “TIDE IS AWESOME” cookie cutter post) anytime soon.
And to even further the double standard, after sitting through some crappola on professionalism, a few hours later at the speaker dinners, David was tweeting out, along side some ‘mystery’ photos, the following :
and the next day:
Gosh, I didn’t realize DressBarn’s definition of professionalism was so liberal.
Maybe I’ll hire a lawyer to translate it all for me…