At first I thought it was another FCC guidelines article, and that the bloggers were forgetting to disclose gifts and payments.
I was wrong.
According to Lauren Sherman, they’ve been lying about items they’ve paid for, claiming they were gifted to seem as if they were in “the cool crowd”. Say what?!?
Some unnamed digital media types weighed in, PRs were painted as people who will talk shit about you behind your back, and there was an overall secretive myst over the article, as not a single blogger was called out for this alleged behavior, and most of the people who had something to say remained anonymous.
As a company that specializes in blogger gifting through our often publicized program,TrendSpark, I wanted to weigh in on this added chapter to the Working with Fashion Bloggers Playbook.
Firstly, I’d like to say that over the past 8 years working with, and being a fashion blogger, starting with FashionIndie, way before the career was synonymous with first-class flights and VIP treatment, I’ve never once met a single girl or guy or Bryanboy who seemed like they’d lie publicly about receiving a gift from a brand, but I haven’t met every blogger, so I do feel that the senario Lauren’s describing is absolutely so true.
I myself would feel some temptation when it comes to hyper-luxury pieces. I think that while it’s nice to have a shit load of money to buy things, it’s would also be pretty awesome to say that my $24k IWC was a gift from the brand, a token of appreciation for my crazy,sexy, cool. I don’t think these bloggers are doing it to be in with the “cool kids” as much as seem like they’re successful to their readers, similar to what happens when young rappers sing about Bentleys, Louis, and diamond cuffs before they have enough to afford it. It’s a life they aspire to, that isn’t yet there, a fault we’re all a little guilty of. It’s a way to authenticate themselves to their fans, a means to show that they are in fact getting the same type of treatment as more brand-recognized bloggers.
Reading it, I kind of wondered who these bloggers were, who were the mysterious, faceless influencers afraid to reveal themselves. Tina Craig claims to know one of them according to her Twitter account, stating “Confused about bloggers buying shit and pretending it’s free swag. Kinda like sending yourself flowers, no?”.
An unnamed marketing exec knows “one fairly popular blogger (with one of those food-lifestyle-fashion blog titles) walked into the West Village store of a popular handbag brand. She asked for a free bucket bag, but the manager said she wouldn’t be able to give her one, so she bought it herself. As she left the store, she tweeted/instagramed/tumbled a big thanks to the brand for the purse.“.
Definitely an interesting story, would love to hear the bloggers side of the story, and I’d love to believe it, but I’d need some proof first. There must be tweets and Instagrams somewhere…
He also stated, “I’ve heard people at parties being like ‘oh, such a brand sent me that swag bag too,’ and then the PR people were like ‘um, no we didn’t. They’re all so desperate to stay career bloggers.” Ouch.
I’m a fan for whistleblowers, but not when they do it in the dark, so I’m kind of hoping these people reveal themselves.
PRs reading this, would love to know your thoughts on this. Does it bother you when bloggers lie?
As the any bloggers who may have done this in the past, would love to talk to you as well.
Just email me at email@example.com.