March 09, 2005
When corporation use bloggers for advertising
The folks at Engadget from the Weblogs Inc. blogging network, were recently approached by Siemens, and were offered to cover the CEBIT trade show on behalf of Siemens. They were offered free plane tickets, hotel accomodation, etc. in exchange for a minimum number of posts favorable to Siemens on Engadget. Says Jason :
We were offended, but hey, we can understand Siemens marketing folks taking a chance. I mean there are a ton of folks out there who will sell out their editorial. And it appears Gizmodo is clearly one of them, having taken the offer which we declined.Food for thought... What could happen when readers realize that their favorite blog and trusted voice is in fact written by an agent of a big corporation? Personally, I wouldn't take the chance.
Today if you look at Gizmodo six of the latest stories are about—you guessed it—Siemens
What I would probably do is open another blog openly "sponsored by Siemens" and link to it from my personal blog. And I would never write anything favorable to Siemens on my Siemens blog that I would not personally vouch for. A fine line indeed.
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