So Now It Is Get 200 Likes To Review A Product?

SOCIAL MEDIA | | June 6, 2011 at 8:53 am

See update below…

I am really upset while writing this post. Mostly because I have a pile of other stuff more important to do and this was not scheduled but it had to be done. I also hate posts coming out negative – I like thinking that I should give someone the benefit of the doubt. I am naive. I also know that at times I may have to stand up and take the chance to get stoned for speaking out, but my principles are worth taking the beating (plus they will not falter). Heaven knows I have seen some really ridiculous pitches these days but I saw one today that literally knocked my socks off and I am just glad I had the strength of chai to rather vent it into a post.

I hate to diss a brand and let me say at the outset I heart Melissa and Doug toys. I do. And I will remain to love them because this rant is in no way a reflection of their products. This is what riles me – wonderful and amazing products have poor (and sometimes downright disgusting) pitches. I have always known the PR/Marketing side of the brand to shun bloggers (from shooing them off at Toy Fairs) to not even having a business card at toy press events but still I heart them and have for years. I have used their product for the past 6 years and will continue to support them. Even their customer service rocks. But then I see this pitch from Melissa and Doug for bloggers and I wanted to cry. I felt like the past couple years of social media evolution skipped them completely. You can read the pitch there but in short it is

“Get us 200 Facebook likes – where person has to write on their wall they came from your blog- and then you get to do a review and giveaway”

Here is what is WRONG with this picture:

  • I am doing free advertising for you.
  • I am doing double advertising for you (one with FB likes and the other with the review)
  • I am doing free work for you in the giveaway (do you have any idea how much work giveaways are?).
  • I am promoting you before I can see your product (shouldn’t people know a product/company before they endorse?)
  • 200 likes for anyone is freaking ridiculous (heck 10 is ridiculous)
  • We pay taxes on that product you know??
  • You are paying us in a product for work which we have to AGAIN work for by writing about it.
  • You are insulting bloggers and exploiting us too with a pitch like this.

So now I feel like they want to see the power of bloggers let’s give them to see. If you feel this way to leave a comment below and/or tweet them this link (@MelissaAndDoug). Maybe if they see us doing it in larger numbers they may sit up and take notice that bloggers deserve to be respected.

Disclosure: I DO NOT look down on any blogger doing this with them.  i know how hard bloggers work and sometimes it is hard to get opportunities. I do believe it is WRONG to have terms like these in a pitch.

UPDATE: June 6th 2011 – 10pm est

I decided not to write a separate post but to update this one so all the information is in one place (not that I would not love you clicking all over Firstly the page with the pitch was amended (the link above) so those reading after would not understand why I started this fiasco in the first place. So I am pasting on the side the original one (yes the engineer in me decided to take a copy knowing it would be changed).

So here it is on the left in a thumbnail form. Just click on it to see it and click more to zoom. Ok, so now that we are all on the same boat I just want to add a few things.  This post needed to be written. I had already seen one of the people I follow on twitter (MommyPR) tweet to Melissa and Doug (who I followed and still do)  about the contest. I tweeted them too and so did a few others. When none got responses I knew that it was time for a post. While Melissa and Doug have certainly come around to want to listen, it did take this post and the comments and tweets to gain attention.

I do appreciate Drew from Melissa and Doug reaching out and though it was a little clear he was not sure how to stop the viral effect there are signs that Drew is trying. Seriously, look at those comments, while it may have annoyed a few I do give kudos for him baring his email out there (can you imagine his inbox?), though Drew be warned – anyone leaving their email address out on a blog like that is open to spam from web crawlers. The vein of thought is that many love Melissa and Doug but have also been experiencing a cold shoulder which may have amplified those feelings.

Drew called me on the phone to ask my help in making it all better and I suggested a simple apology. I think he has tried saying that here too, although it just started with stating it was a mis-worded at first. I do feel confident that they want to make things right, but since I do not work for them I cannot vouch anything further. Many companies use this time to either sink or soar. In fact I think the opportunity for Melissa and Doug is a ripe one. Let’s pause and give them a breather to see what they do next, everyone deserves a second chance.

My only advice to Melissa and Doug is you are in a rare (and hopefully positive) position to have all blogger’s attention on you. It is time to choose your next step carefully and in the right direction. Good luck!

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