Monday, June 6, 2011

Product Review Bloggers Beware!

Oh, yes, I am double posting today! It's a shame, because I loved the 12 Weird/Bizarre Baby Products post, however I simply could not let this one go under the carpet. Here's my rant for the day:

So, yes, "Mom Bloggers" are supposed to be a great target group for PR reps that are responsible for promoting their products to offer review opportunities to, right? Apparently, some of these PR reps think that they are either dealing with a group of dumb chicks who do not know their worth - or how much their time is worth, or else they think that we actually think it is a privilege to promote their products for them.

PR reps: let me clue you in! We are helping you do your job, which is - and correct me if I am wrong - promoting your products. We have spent time building our own loyal group of readers and we are spreading the word about your products, which takes time and energy. I'm not going to once again talk about how long it takes to write a decent review with links and images...let alone how long it takes to build our own loyal following.

Why am I saying all of this?

Well, I stumbled across a pitch today that royally hit a nerve...go ahead and read this and then come back and read the rest of this post.

Did you read it? Essentially, in case you did not read it, Melissa & Doug posted today in their "Bloggers: A Great Opportunity for You!" that they want us bloggers to get our fans and followers to send 200 Facebook "likes" to their page (I guess your people should say that they came from your blog) and once you hit 200 Facebook "likes"...(have fun, whoever is keeping track of this), you get one set of plastic beach things to give way on your blog. Although these toys are absolutely adorable, I don't think so!

Now you can see why I am irked. Melissa & Doug has some awesome awesome toys, arts & crafts, puzzles, classroom supplies, etc. - I am not knocking their products here, in the least! What I am knocking is their obviously ridiculous pitch to bloggers (Mom Bloggers, for the most part...duh, these are toy reviews!).

First of all...did it say something about recruiting 200 Facebook "likes" for you? Companies PAY BIG MONEY to social media companies to recruit that many Facebook likes...and you want us to do it for FREE? Do you have ANY idea how long it takes to get 5 new Facebook "likes"? And then, promote your product and conduct a giveaway, too? Again, I am not going to talk about how much time and energy it takes to do giveaways.

Here is my ultimate question, because this blog post on Melissa & Doug is a bit confusing

We are supposed to write a blog post about Melissa & Doug and send people to their Facebook page...and then we get a toy sent to us to review? Is that how this works? Or are we supposed to write a blog post and hope that we are chosen to review a product? Then, we get to do a giveaway if we manage to send 200 people to the Facebook page? Wow, that's a lot of work! Because, that's all prior to receiving and reviewing the product.

And...what if we have never bought an item from Melissa & Doug? This is surely not the case for I said, I absolutely love their products, but a blogger is supposed to promote Melissa & Doug before they even try their product(s)? I think that defeats the purpose of true blogger marketing...and it also a bit deceiving, like putting the cart before the horse, wouldn't you say?

Dear PR rep at Melissa & Doug:

That's simply wayyy too much to ask of bloggers and I feel bad for the people who try to do this. You have awesome products, but to take advantage of bloggers by requesting such heavy terms is...well, you fill in the blank.

For Bloggers:

If you choose to take on this "opportunity", to each his own, but you are taking on a monster when there are thousands of companies who appreciate the hard work that bloggers put into reviewing products - so there are plenty of other opportunities out there for you. Good luck!


  1. This is Kim from Love Your Girls Biracial Curls, i must chime in on this one!!!

    Thank you for posting this because this has been heavy on my mind lately...

    I am fed up with being contacted by companies who then either dont respond, or have these rediculus requirements. WE are bloggers who spend our time and energy posting for our communities and for us to be approached and expected to promote for free is INSANE! it takes me HOURS to create posts with pics links and reviews... I will NEVER promote for free and if we cant benefit from it i sure am not going to promote for a companies sake. Ive had many companies contact me wanting to partner but then either send me samples that arent even enough for one application or they want to set some crazy limitations.
    My daughter has peanut and tree allergies so she cannot use alot of products out there because of this, and when this is told to companies they completely stop talking to us! No response or anything. I am going to make a post on this too because i am not going to stand for my time being wasted by these companies. Another thing that is sick is when i contact a company because i would like to host a giveaway based off a great experiences ive had with their products and i detail this thoroughly, i dont even hear back from them EVER. But they are off conversing with others and doing giveaways with other blogs... I will begin putting these companies on blast if they dont get there stuff together. WE WORK and should be compensated as such. Its insulting that companies come across asking us for spotlights but arent offering anything in return.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Kim! I will mention that I have had very good experiences with companies and product reviews. I have only had one rude company - and they were very lucky I did not call them out. Note to self: I will in the future. However, I am very picky about the companies that I deal with and most are ones that I either contact because I find a unique association with them or they have contacted me.

    I'm very happy with the responses that I have received, except for one. Hopefully, it will stay that way in the future.

    Companies will not appreciate bloggers unless we speak out and let them know that the need to appreciate and respect the work that we, I speak. :)

  3. i totally agree with your post! i saw their post this morning on facebook and after reviewing what all they wanted i just said it wasnt worth all that. i love melissa and doug products too and have tons of their products for my son and the kids i keep but expecting someone to recuit 200 likes just to review their product isnt worth it! i just passed that offer up and moved on to the next offer!

  4. Reading this was very interesting. I work with a company called Honey Girl Organics and we have recently been doing some product giveaway/reviews with bloggers. It does seem that the "200 likes" plan was pretty extreme. I see how you feel. On the other hand it is a little tricky to actually pay for a review, because the reviews are usually presented as "objective" opinions. That's hard to do when the reviewer is compensated. So far our bloggers/reviews have been happy with the arrangements, where we send samples and they do the review. But believe me, I do understand how much work it is for the blogger to do a review. Anyway, this was a very interesting read, which I learned from. Thanks

  5. Thank you for your comment, Mark! Every company has their own requests, and rightfully so. I think there has to be a happy medium for everyone involved. I'm glad that you were able to get something out of the post.


Thanks for your feedback!

alt="YOUR TEXT HERE"rel="Facebook image"src="IMAGE URL HERE"style="display:none;">