There’s been a lot of discussion and kerfuffle going on recently about sponsored posts, gifted items, brand-blogger relationships and the interaction with readers, followers and likers. It’s perfectly understandable – this is fairly new territory for the Antipodean blogosphere and companies, with more and more players from both sides entering the fray every day. I’m very new to this concept myself.
I have to admit to being a bit taken aback with a response I received when I tweeted what I thought was a humorous aside about a tea brand. It said that I had started my day with Traditional Afternoon Tea and had just had a cup of English Breakfast for afternoon tea, hashtagging it with #rebelwithateapot. Maybe I’d had too much caffeine, but I thought it was amusing. I received a two word response “sponsored post?”.
I responded that I have a Keeping It Real policy on Kimba Likes and anything involving brands I have a relationship with is clearly marked. With a smiley face to show that I’m a nice person. Cause that’s how that works, isn’t it?
Isn’t one of the benefits of Twitter being able to have a conversation with, or including, brands that we love? A fabulous way of sharing the love? Sometimes we can even reference brands we’re not happy with in the hopes it will reach them faster than the two hours we’ve spent waiting on hold for Customer Service. I’ve always shared products, brands and companies I love with the people I know long before I ever heard of blogging, let alone started to blog, and certainly loooong before my blog started receiving PR attention.
If you’re interested, here is a link to the Kimba Likes Keeping It Real Policy. I firmly believe that the term sponsorship only relates to actually being paid in cash for posts for companies with whom you have a contractual relationship – such as Kimba Likes being part of the Brown Sugar Brand Ambassador team. I am paid a small fee for Brown Sugar posts, and receive a discount as well as gifted items.
I frequently reference and review products that I’ve bought with my own money on Kimba Likes. Products that I’ve been sent for the purposes of review may be reviewed on Kimba Likes, but only if I love them – and will be clearly marked as such. My opinions cannot be bought for a free lipstick or cold hard cash. I feel that most bloggers I know hold similar opinions and values to me, and that is why I trust their reviews far more than a beauty review in a magazine, as I believe these are far more akin to advertorials.
Please let me know where you sit on this issue. I’d absolutely love to know. Are you a blogger with similar or differing opinions? Do you read lots of blogs? Is it important to you to know that an item was gifted?