Do You Believe in Sponsored Product Reviews?

While there is a lot of talk right now in the mom blogosphere about payment for placement I believe paid product reviews can be a bit deceptive to readers, even with disclosure.

In the spirit of full transparency, in the past I have published sponsored posts about products I didn’t use and didn’t care about. I did it because it was fast cash and some of the bloggers I respected also routinely published sponsored content. I’m glad I did it because I learned a lot from it. For me, after a few of those posts I vowed I would never do it again. Why? Because I wasn’t being authentic and I hated writing copy for my blog with requested keyword placements. It was horrible and I’ll never revisit that practice.

This week I have been following a series called, “The Secrets of Mommy Bloggers” out of Chicago and the reporter asked moms who aren’t bloggers what they felt about moms receiving cash to review products. They didn’t like it and understandable so.

To be absolutely forthright, however, I definitely don’t see a problem with running any and all sponsored content on one’s blog, especially if it is about a giveaway or if it’s an advertorial. But I don’t think mom bloggers, or any blogger for that matter, should receive compensation for giving their opinion about a product because I believe there is no way cash won’t skew their judgement, even if full disclosure is present.

If companies want to use blogs to run advertorials or giveaways, that is fine in my judgement. It allows bloggers to actually get paid and when clearly marked there is no question that the content is not that of the blogger, but rather of the company that bought space on their blog. But when bloggers begin writing reviews about products they’ve used and companies are paying them to do so, it seriously muddies the waters.

How do you feel about sponsored product reviews?

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