Yes, I was approached to blog for pay. It was a local hotel chain. They wanted me to Review my stay, and share it on social media. “Can I say bad stuff?” I asked. “We just want you to spread the hype in your own words,” they replied.
Which to me, meant no, and as a result I politely declined.
Now I know there are celebrities earning dollar bills out there opening boxes, trying on shoes, and spreading the word through Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #sponsored - and I feel Gross about it. I mean, kids look up to these people, heck, women look up to other women - and we will use the recommended products/hotels/shoes for the simple reason that THEY recommended them! That’s so gross. It’s like a weird form of prostitution that i can’t wrap my head around.
But me? Why me? I decided to see if any other Saint Johners are whoring themselves out to companies for the dough, and in two seconds I found Allie Beckwith. She bragged about coffee and an HBO show I believe - both using the hashtag #sponsored. I don’t know Allie from a Doberman, but the more I searched, the more I found that local people are being paid to say positive things about companies, products, clothes - you name it. And it’s all very candid, and all very gross. “Lovin’ this new pair of kicks I got from company XYZ #shoes #comfort # style #sponsored”. REALLY? That’s who we are now? That’s our new low?
I did review makeup - twice now - at the behest of the manufacturers. When I asked if I could ‘say bad things’ they both insisted on my honesty, and that is exactly what I gave them! I also mentioned at the very beginning of the review that the review itself was requested of me.
What’s wrong with an honest review? Here’s some money, tell us what you think. Here’s some product, let us know if you like it…..WHERE THE HELL HAS HONESTY GONE?
It looks like advertisers decided to stop at nothing, and they found a hungry murder of crows willing to offer up their morals in exchange for the almighty dollar. I also know that I will NEVER support a product/company that pays for positivity. [I’m actually not drinking my daily Tim Hortons tea anymore as a result - and it hurts.] Honest reviews? Yes. All day. But I think if we all refuse to support these #sponsored companies our children won’t be exposed to this kind of gross advertising. The next time a friend posts about something awesome, search the hashtags, or ask if they got a deal in exchange….because we no longer can trust our community to give unbiased reviews and recommendations - and THAT SUCKS! I trust the judgement of my community - or trusted i should say. If my bestie loves a restaurant, I’m guessing I will too! If a co-worker posts about a wicked deal at the mall - I’m heading in! It’s one of the only reasons I use Facebook - to get the skinny on deals and great eats!
In unrelated news, my documentary is coming along nicely - anyone want to commit to product placement that I will offhandedly seem to really enjoy somewhere in the middle of each episode? It’ll cost you a few hundred bucks, and my soul…….that sounds worth it, right?