Did you miss the drama on Twitter? I did. I don’t hang out on Twitter much anymore and I don’t read most of the popular mommy blogs because I have nothing in common with the moms who write them. I may start out reading and then get bored by all the sponsored posts and reviews of processed food. Sadly more and more of these blogs might as well hang a “For Sale” sign on the front page because clearly they are being compiled in PR lists for moms who will sell a favorable opinion to the highest bidder. I say this only because I see so many of the same names on these different campaigns.
Remember the firestorm that erupted when a group of mom bloggers chose to promote a popular brand of bubble bath? They were promoting a children’s product that has cancer causing chemicals in it. I am not sure what they got in exchange but I hardly think it could be worth it. I wrote about the issue here… Toxic Bubble Bath.
I have done many reviews of companies and products on this blog and often times I get free product but what many people don’t know is that I get around 50-100 emails each day that ask me to review or endorse a company or product of some sort. Some try to lure me with a cash payment or a free trip to “dialogue” about their product. 99% of the time I ignore or flat out refuse their offers. When the only thing I want to tell them in a dialogue is “You Suck!”, somehow I think I would be wasting my time. Sometimes I accept the opportunity to review a product but I make no guarantees it will be favorable and I usually flat out refuse money in compensation. Why? Because my opinion is not for sale and my name is not for them to associate with their company unless I 100% approve of their company and their product. I sure would LOVE to have a free trip to California but I would hate to lend a helping hand to an unethical company and disappoint all the people who read this blog.
Nestle asked a large group of mom bloggers to fly out to California this week for a sponsored event. The moms got a free trip and a free hotel stay. What they did not antcipate is that MANY moms would be really dissapointed by this. Nestle is a lot more than cookies and coaoa. They also control 40% of the worldwide market for baby formula and some of the attendees are breastfeeding advocates. They also have NUMEROUS unethical marketing tactics and their pushing formula on women in underdeveloped countries is actually resulting in babies dying. Women there believe the hype that formula is better for their babies and they mix it with dirty water, resulting in sick children. They may also not have enough money to keep a steady supply so they use less than the recommended amount of formula and water it down to make it go further… resulting in malnourished children. These women are being spurred to formula feed when clearly breastfeeding is better… but Nestle doesn’t make any money when women choose to breastfeed. The anger against Nestle in regards to this has been boiling since the 1970s with boycotts. It is still goes on today. There is also the issue of slave labor in reference to their other products.
I am not perfect. I don’t expect anyone else to be perfect but.. I don’t know… dying children and slave labor… those don’t seem like oopsie offenses that can be taken lightly by anyone being asked to lend a hand to their marketing campaign.
I hope mom bloggers start to see that we have a responsibilty to the people who read what we have to say. Why would we ever choose to influence them to buy Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Frito Lay, TV Dinners, J& J Bubble Bath, or Nestle no bake cookies and baby formula? What value does that bring to them? NONE. If it has no value to your readers, don’t do it. And in these cases… if it can harm your readers or promote a company that in turn does harm… especially don’t do it.
For more on this issue check out Annie’s Open letter to the attendees of the Nestle Family blogger event and Amy’s post: Did we learn anything from the Nestle Family Twitter-storm?
Thursday, October 1st, 2009