Kimba Likes Keeping It Real Policy

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?

 

Kimba Likes // a style blog with a fun family twist! @kimbalikes

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  • Johanna at Zigazag - 2 February 2013 - 8.01 pm

    A very interesting post further highlighting these issues. I think we just have to work with integrity and honesty.ReplyCancel

  • Trish - 2 February 2013 - 10.57 am

    I think it is clear from what I’ve read from people on FB / twitter / forums – people have felt duped or tricked unfairly into clicking onto blogs and adding to blog stats / traffic/ reach when BLOG X , Y or Z have a sponsored/ gifted/ review post without it being clear in URL or post bio or until right at the end.
    Whether they care about the terminology of sponsored/ paid or free gift or not they don’t want to add to the numbers… If you get what I mean.
    Some bloggers are very creative with ‘bait ‘ post titles and there is nothing wrong with it at all . The general vibe from a certain forum and a discussion on a blog was people don’t care how creative the writing style or interesting the post of any product …they want to know upfront to avoid confusion as mumabulous said.ReplyCancel

  • Emily - 28 January 2013 - 8.16 pm

    I mention brands all the time! And I spell out that my posts are not sponsored. Like you, I think it’s a little sad that I have to – most blogs I follow clearly mark sponsored and ‘gifted for review’ posts, but I guess without the legals to force everyone to do it, everyone’s a sceptic.ReplyCancel

  • mumabulous - 26 January 2013 - 12.35 pm

    I too have been following the debate about sponsored posts gifting etc with much interest even though currently I’m too lazy to chase brand work for my blog. Its murky territory and I believe there should be some kind of disclosure standard for bloggers to follow. Some are suggesting that all sponsored posts should be disclosed at the top of the text regardless of whether the blogger received cash or gifts. I tend to agree with this as it eliminates any confusion.ReplyCancel

    • Nikki | Styling You - 29 January 2013 - 9.22 am

      Gifted items does not equal sponsorship. You can’t support a family on free product. A sponsored post is one where cash has been exchanged and Australian bloggers are very good at putting this at the top of a post. ReplyCancel

  • Rachel from Redcliffe Style - 26 January 2013 - 7.52 am

    A great post, pity it had to be written though. Rachel xxReplyCancel

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