Sunday, June 07, 2009

the post where AOF meets the modern world of viral marketing

Free stuff, no strings attached, yeah? Publicists are gathering their list, they are checking it twice and have woken up to the fact that social media is a low cost way of spruiking their wares. Unlike jaded journos, bloggers feel flattered to be offered freebies. Right?

Last year a new pomegranate juice hit the market – you may have read bloggers gushing about it. Some 'fessed up it was a freebie, others did not. Not sure if any wrote a negative review on the stuff either way.

Elsewhere in the blogworld Gluten Free Girl and the Chef feature new recipes with pork, choosing to be transparent that it is a paid gig, Pim has become an ambassador for a new range of dairy products and the list goes on. But is one post disclosing the commercial relationship enough? Should every mention of pork (or shot of a Le Creuset pot) thereafter have a disclaimer at the bottom of the post, so the casual reader versus the blogging fan can know the full story?

Viral marketing thrives on social media. When a whole heap of bloggers start posting about the wonders of pork or jump on the Weston A Price wagon, in the guise of gushing over “Nourishing Traditions”* I get a little suspicious. Is it just synchronicity or is this viral marketing at work? Then there is twitter - in 140 characters or less there is no space for disclosure making it the perfect vector to disguise product placement.

So be prepared for some write ups about the Good Food and Wine Show (GFWS) as it tours Australia, as many food bloggers (as well as journalists who blog) have been offered free entry to the show, tickets to the chef events within the show and meals at the GFWS restaurant.

And I am one of them.

Conflicted. Hell yes! You see, over all I have more negatives than positives to say about the event. Do I blog it or not?

You decide.

More on food blogging ethics as The Food Blog Code of Ethics.

* A not for profit “Health” foundation backed by various people in the meat and dairy industries, telling us soy is poison and it makes good sense to eat more animal products. “Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats” is written by its founding president Sally Fallon.

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Blogger Wendy said...

If you want to go and you want to write about it positively or negatively, blog away, I say.

4:19 pm  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Well, as you know, my opinion of Gordon Ramsay will be forever stuffed after the weirdly offensive jokes he told about Tracy Grimshaw (and more) something good came out of it, I reckon.

And that avocado smoothie - which, despite repeated searching of the website cannot, sadly, be found - and the funny little Bonsoy pourer. Blog it, I say, but wait 'til the 'festival' is over, p'raps?

5:21 pm  
Blogger Johanna GGG said...

Blog and disclose! Not all of us can get there so I will be happy with a little vicarious trip!

11:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree, and have been feeling the same way, so much so that I said I wouldn't accept anything. I've since moderated my stance...but am very suspicious of the many out there who blog away, attribution or's a fine line...

4:54 pm  

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