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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : October 31, 2006

Blogging for Bucks?

Seems as if everyone has a blog these days, and many are making money off of the new technology. But is paying a person to blog about certain products – from alcohol to socks – ethically wrong? Or just a sign of the times?

by Kristina Knight

For years Google has allowed bloggers to earn money by having actual advertising – banner ads, etc – on their blogs. These things are obviously advertising, but a new trend is to pay bloggers to write about certain products. It is a less obvious form of advertising that almost appears as an endorsement of the products talked about on a blog. So is pay-per-posting wrong or an ethical gray area?

"We are betting on the ethics and morals of the bloggers themselves," said Ted Murphy, PayPerPost CEO (via Advertising Age). "If someone really hates a product, to make $5, will they say something positive? It really comes down to the blogger being honest with its audience."

The real question – is paying bloggers to write about products any different from product placement? Is an author using Cover Girl product names in their books or reality shows giving players Coca-Cola, Corona or Pringles as a reward for good play any worse that a blogger writing about a new product online?

Good or bad, the idea is now out there and companies are paying for the privilege of building brand and word of mouth sales through blogs.

Tags: advertising trends, blog advertising, blogs, paid blogging, phony blogs, product placements

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