Monday, December 15, 2008

I still want my Swedish meatballs! The Izea brouhaha continues

Remember my previous post about Loren Feldman's and Julia Roy's participation in the recent Izea promotion? Well, when people weren't taking sides in this weekend's Loic Le Meur/Michael Arrington dispute, they were waxing prolific on Izea and Chris Brogan.

The latest salvo comes from Stowe Boyd:

The recent flap over Chris brogan's involvement in a Kmart social marketing campaign is bringing the payola word back into vogue.

In my mind, the difference between payola and payperpostola is that, at least recently, the latter has involved full disclosure.

Boyd makes this distinction:

If the author is intentionally promoting a product or service in exchange for money that they otherwise wouldn't comment on -- because of incentives from the sponsor, or by self-censorship in order to retain the financial supports -- then that fine line is crossed, and the ethics of the situation go sideways.

As I noted previously, it was understandable that Loren Feldman would blog about video equipment, or that Julia Roy would blog about apartment items.

Boyd's solution:

1. Kmart could have run a sweepstakes, and selected five individuals -- not bloggers -- to get $500 gift cards and shopping sprees.

2. The could have videoed the sprees.

3. They could have created an ad program, or sponsored posts (like Techmeme has) that could have been placed on Chris Brogan's and others' blogs. For a fee. And even better, written by others, like marketing folks from Kmart.

Sorry, but I don't see the problem here, any more than I saw a program when Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball hawked cigarettes on "I Love Lucy."

No, you often can't find them on the DVDs today, but they were an integral part of the shows, just as Dinah Shore's song "See the USA in a Chevrolet" was an integral part of her shows.

Or just listen to any talk radio show for more than a half an hour and see how many products are being hawked there.

In my view, there's no difference between a blogger talking about K Mart and Lucy & Desi talking about cigarettes.


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