Tuesday, July 28, 2009

this post brought to you by ___________

Once upon a time, I desperately wanted to work in advertising. Even before becoming engrossed in Thirtysomething (when I was barely twentysomething) I felt like it was the place for me. I was obsessed with magazines not [just] for the fashion and beauty and relationship tips; I have always been intrigued by what the ads do to make me suddenly want something I never knew existed before that moment.

I took a Sociology of Advertising class in college that reinforced much of what I suspected - psychology was being employed hardcore to get me buying shit I didn't need - and in the end taught me what I needed most to learn: the advertising industry would eat my soul, and I was not okay with that. [Aside: If you happen to be in advertising or someone you love & care about is, please do not think I believe ad agents to be soulless; I was just too sensitive & idealistic to stay there. The person you are/know is clearly stronger than I.]

Even though I scurried away from all things advertising in college, I am still endlessly fascinated by the manipulation - and that is not always a dirty word - involved. It is a necessary element of a capitalistic society; I believe we the people need to be constantly aware of what is being offered us and how it is being offered. There is nothing wrong with succumbing to the Free with Purchase tactic as long as you realize it's a tactic! And wanting a particular fragrance for my husband because a certain someone pretends to love it is also not wrong.

All of this to say (besides too sensitive & idealistic, I think it's fair to say I am also too verbose for the ad world), I appreciate an effective advertisement but I want to be told when it's an advertisement (paid for, perhaps not completely forthcoming) and when it's an honest opinion with flaws & negatives revealed. And "paid for" doesn't necessarily mean free sample - most companies are willing to let a reviewer discuss the downside of their products; it's the sponsors who pay cash monies to bloggers in return for outright glowing endorsements - and again, that is their prerogative to do so but I want to know what's behind the posted scenes.

I agreed to post an AdSense badge in my sidebar because money can be nice, though I did specify what products & companies I did not want showing up there. This significantly decreases potential hits and thus potential lattes, but it helps me sleep at night knowing I haven't unwittingly steered someone toward The Store That Shall Not Be Named or other places & things that I wouldn't willingly steer you toward. So please do the favor of letting me know if you really are that thrilled about your Suzanne Somers Hand Mixer, or if she paid you to say so.

Yes the badge was free, but I got no other swag from them


brandy101 said...

McConaughey? really?

That guy is a tool, imo. But, ok, the ad is kinda sexy-cute...BUT if you scroll down the you tube list ,click one called *Dolce Gabbana Pubic Pants* No its not rated R/NC-17...just dishy male models in extremely low-rise jeans doing the catwalk thang...eye candy for moms...mmmmm.

But I digress from the topic...

I once ran/owned my own webzine in the early days of the internet with loads of ads and all that good stuff...but I was SO bad about SELLING and really pushing the ad revenue stream; so eventually I closed shop.

You know all this Madmen stuff has you thinking of the glamour of the ad world again...admit it :)

Gretchen said...

Oh, you are so good. You are able to put EXACTLY into words what I am thinking...

Everything you said about advertising is exactly what my husband is worried about with doctors. That their opinions about drugs are influenced by the scrip companies. Who knows... maybe? One would hope that a physician would place health care above monetary benefit. But maybe not. They're human too.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

We hold your truths to be self-evident. You're a what you see is what you get, gal. I come here for that, and no ad is going to make me think differently. More power to you.

Also? I come here because I know you understand about Adam Lambert like I understand about JT and grocery boy and . . .

Maddy said...

I think a 'what you see is what you get' kind of a policy works best for most folks.

lisahgolden said...

I used my blog the other day for a full on advertisement. I hope it was clear enough. And I hope I made it clear that I was selling the stuff, not just reviewing it.

Anyway, I'm considering your suggestion for other items. Seriously! I am so done working for the man. Well, THAT man.

Sara Elizabeth said...

Great post. I am actually posting tomorrow about the new FTC regulations for bloggers who review, and what is blogging responsibly. I do reviews and giveaways, I also sell ad space, etc. I assumed everyone was as honest as me. I am doing a few reviews right now that are not 100% great. Being honest is so important, and I have no problem saying that I received something free to review. I think being honest is the most important thing. Anyway, I took the pledge too and also have the button up on my Reviews and Giveaways blog.

Suzanne said...

Here here. I'm still trying to figure out how to make some cash off of my blog without resorting to pay-per-post.

btw- what is the Store Which Should Not Be Named?


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