Thursday, November 02, 2006

Paying for Blog Buzz

Everyone knows that word of mouth or buzz marketing is one of the most effective tools to create awareness for a brand, and that the internet has only facilitated this process because the medium allows people to communicate more. The ethical problem with buzz marketing on the internet is that advertisers are going into chat rooms, and message boards acting as an unbiased person and promoting there brands. Even worse is if they spread negative buzz about there competitors. This is unethical because the people on the other end of the conversation do not know they are talking to an advertiser.

Instead of impersonating an unbiased third party advertisers are now paying bloggers to promote products in there blogs. The business is run by the company PayPerPost which allows bloggers to setup an account and choose from a list of opportunities provided by the advertiser. Each opportunity is requires a different way of promoting the company, such as product reviews, pictures, or links back to there website. Bloggers make on average $8 dollars a post but there is no limit to the amount opportunities that can be taken by one blogger. PayPerPost does encourage its bloggers to disclose that the information in there blog is promotional by offering $10 to adopt a disclosure policy. The policy is a blue shield that states, "This blog is a sponsored blog created or supported by a company, organization or group of organizations." Ethically it makes sense to disclose the content of the blog, but it also defeats the main purpose of word of mouth. When someone reads the blog they are going to see the statement and interpret the blog as an advertisement.

From Monday’s AdAge: Want to Build Up Blog Buzz?

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