In Defense of the Mommy Blogger
The FTC floated some guidelines this week that have the blogosphere – particularly the mom blogosphere – in a twitter. You see, even if it’s taken the rest of the entertainment industry like, forever, to realize the buying power of women, advertisers were quick to recognize the tech mom factor.
Everything from fortified water to strollers have been distributed for testing across the blogosphere with hopes that the trusted mom will influence her followers, who wield plenty of power in their own right.
At Babble we have a product review blog, Droolicious, which works like the product pages of your favorite glossy. While normally we wouldn’t bat an eye at this type of targeting, the language in the new guidelines is wide open. From the source –
The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement.
If the FTC is targeting blogs that receive products for testing then Droolicious would be a target. Technically it is a blog, but only because it exists on the world wide web instead of print. Unlike moms (or shills, really) who are getting paid to pretend their family loves Stouffer’s pot pies, review blogs offer the same information as Parents but from the perspective of a mother who actually uses a bottle sterilizer/pacifier/baby carrier every day. So why should a mom be forced to create a list of all of the products received for free to review when parenting mag editors (myself included) get a vast array of samples on which to run tests delivered to the office? Whether you are an editor or a blogger, it’s simply unrealistic to expect a reviewer to spend hours at Target, Babies ‘R’ Us and all their local boutiques researching what’s new to market while spending thousands of dollars on products to test and review.
Furthermore I say kudos to moms (and dads) who have figured out a way to take care of their family needs while filtering information to new parents who really do need to know what kind of stroller works best in the subway. Although I draw the line at the stealth tactics. Not cool, and you’re ruining it for the rest of us.
But the bottom line is the FTC is issuing guidelines, not arresting SAHMs. Until Cool Mom Picks is fined for waxing poetic about Skip Hop let’s just go about our business of telling other parents about what we like and don’t like about Bugaboos, shall we?