Blogging Moms are being wooed by food companies who see these parents as being of real valuable to associate with their products. Moms are finding that staying at home and blogging can be lucrative as food companies are starting to offer free trips, products and more. But with the FTC trying to impose guidelines for bloggers and free products they receive, is there a real conflict of interest?
The FTC has stated that bloggers must disclose financial incentives or product compensation if given to a blogger in exchange for a review. What is not clear is how these guidelines will be imposed. Some are saying that the FTC has guidelines that are unclear and that this causes confusion in the bloging community.
A recent article at the Los Angeles Times states the following:
But recently, these bloggers say, food companies have upped the ante, bombarding them with free trips to corporate kitchens and mountains of edible swag.
Starbucks, eager to get working parents drinking its Via instant coffee, sent limousines to shuttle bloggers in New York City for a private lunch with executives. They left with bags stuffed with coffee and offers of bottomless future refills.
Fast-food purveyor Taco Bell flew a group of bloggers from Maryland, Michigan and Missouri to California for a retreat this spring, paid for their lodging and let them spend the day creating new taco and burrito concoctions.
Kraft Foods curried favor with mommy bloggers by bringing some to Los Angeles for the Grilled Cheese Invitational, in an effort to get online parents hungry for cheese.
It’s a strategy that recalls post-World War II ad campaigns, in which women touted the benefits of certain laundry soaps and the household brands that would make them a domestic goddess.
“They handle the family budget,” said Amanda Vega, an industry consultant who specializes in social media and public relations. “People read them and believe them, because they’re easy to identify with.”
I can understand that consumers would believe a mommy blogger outside of the corporate environment than they would a star that has been paid to promote a product. But should the moms have to disclose who is giving them products? Would these promotions influence the reviews these Moms may provide?
Let me know what you think.