Underhand or acceptable?

November 12, 2010 § 1 Comment

I am writing this post because I genuinely don’t know if it’s just me, well, getting my knickers in a knot over nothing.

 Recently I have received 3 emails/email newsletters from people telling me about something, an event or a product. I also know (either by uncovering the affiliate link code or general info) that the product or service mentioned in this email is effectively being sold to me by the sender.

I have no issue with affiliate links, nor affiliate marketing- indeed this can be a very useful and well targeted method of reaching potential customers. What I object to is the (underhand?) way these people have ‘casually’ mentioned these products as if they have just come across them. There is no disclosure of the financial benefit to them if I click on the link and sign up for whatever is on offer.

Now, I may actually be interested in the product, but when I find people are ‘recommending’ things for reward, it does temper the reliability of that recommendation. I was approached earlier in the year by a large website who wanted me to post a conversational blog which just so happened to mention their website. They even offered me cash for the privilege. However, when I stated that I would need to highlight the fact that this would be a sponsored post, they told me, in no uncertain terms, that under no circumstances would I be allowed to do that.

Excuse me, but isn’t this my blog? Where I do reviews, it is clear that I have been given a product to test. I may in future be asked to test or review other things and I am happy to do so, but I will give my opinion and I will not compromise my own integrity, or mislead my readers, for a potential quick buck.

What do you think? Do you have an editorial policy on your blog? Do you agree that emails containing sponsored/affiliate links should alse be flagged as such?

Or am I just a tight-knickered grump?!

Picture courtesy of  Robyn www.ZenCupcake.com . This post was part of the November Business Mum’s Blog Carnival

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§ One Response to Underhand or acceptable?

  • I’m with you Sam, I’m always up-front about my sponsored posts and affiliate links. If you’re making money form recommending stuff, your reputation is crucial so it’s crazy to do anything that has even the faintest whiff of underhandedness (Eek, can I make up words on the blog of a copywriter?!) Thanks for entering the blog carnival!

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