Fake blogging – AKA flogging – is prevalent among the 1.5 million blogs on the Internet. Most of us are familiar with high profile flogging like the 2006 Wal-Marting Across America where two “Wal-Mart enthusiasts” traveled across the country in an RV visiting Wal-Marts and blogging about it. It was later reveled these two “enthusiasts” were paid by Wal-Mart (Edelman’s client).
Another famous example is “All I want for Xmas is my PSP”. A blog “developed by a kid” trying to persuade his friend’s parents to buy his friend a PSP for Xmas. Turns out this “kid” was the brains of Sony’s marketing company Zipatoni.
Unfortunately, the curtain being pulled from these blogs isn’t stopping others from flogging. So… blog readers beware.
Recently, we landed a new client – a leading diabetes mail order supply company. While researching diabetes, competitors and diabetes blogs, it was amazing how many blogs we found that did not reveal the blogger’s identity. Certainly journalists do not write articles without a byline. Why would blog readers trust a blog that doesn’t identify a blogger, especially if the blog is providing health advice?
I’m certainly not saying every blog that has an unidentifiable blogger is a flog, but you do have to question the content if no one is taking credit for it. Considering in most cases the blogger will want to get credit for his/her contributions on a specific topic.
And just for the record, I will never write about a clients’ products or services on my blog (even if I think it is the best service/product on earth) as I consider that flogging and unethical.