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koz

Why do you think the article is a load of bull? I mean, I get that you don't sway your opinion or posts because of getting something free, but do you honestly believe all bloggers are that way? I think the article pointed out women who are ethical about it, and women who are just scarfing up the goods, which is realistic.

Although, I admit I am more likely to accept a review as honest when the writer admits to receiving the product for free. I guess it's the former journalist in me...?

Toya

I think it's because I have inside knowledge. And I know the women they mentioned in that article firsthand and they were depicted incorrectly. Not to mention that the "journalist" was untruthful in the way she got interviews with those women - telling them she wanted to talk about how beauty blogs are shaking up the industry and then pretty much accusing them of being swag whores.

There are very few of us beauty bloggers who get loads of expensive samples. I do receive some free product, but I buy a great deal of it myself, and the vast majority of beauty bloggers are in the same boat. Also, let's talk about beauty editors of magazines - everything you read in a magazine is a glowing report because beauty editors are *paid* to have it be that way. No one is talking about that.

I really think this kind of article is being written because magazines, newspapers, etc. are threatened by this new medium.

koz

I agree that print media is threatened by new media. For sure! They openly admit that. I am sure they don't admit that's WHY they're writing those articles, though.

I guess I never perceived the beauty editor as swag whore to be deceptive. I mean, I thought it was always well known and self-evident. I expect more of beauty bloggers BECAUSE I know them or because they seem like real people, not part of a media conglomorate.

Toya

Well, I guess the question is, what makes you a swag whore? Am I a swag whore because I get free products sent to me, even if I don't ask for those products and I review them honestly?

There may be ten beauty bloggers who really get the expensive stuff - are all beauty bloggers painted with the same brush?

I am a real person and not part of a media conglomerate. But I don't feel guilty for getting products. What I do is fun for me and a passion. I provide a service to my readers. If people want honest commentary, they can come here. If not, they can read magazines.

koz

Oh yeah, when I said I expect more, I didn't mean to imply that I expect you to turn it down or anything. I just expect you to be upfront, to be honest and to be candid. I don't expect that from a MC because I just figure they're churning out crap to get ad sales.

Hm, what makes a swag whore? Maybe soliciting free stuff; taking lots of free stuff and never acknowledging it with readers; blogging for the sole (or for a big) reason of getting free stuff; giving lots of good reviews for more free stuff.

I don't think all beauty bloggers are painted with the same brush. But I it's only fair to acknowledge there are good and bad -- just like in every industry. And where free crap comes into the mix, it's human nature for people to get a little less classy. lol. So I feel like there are more than a small minority.

Also, what's the harm in saying that something was free? Not only is it candid, it's informative. Why not have a little fact list at the end of the reviews saying the where, what, how much, etc. It'd be helpful for the stuff you buy and the stuff you get free.

Marie

My opinion is this: if you, as a blogger, get free samples, that is no one's business but yours. I would only hope that as a blogger and reviewer of any product you buy or receive, that your review of it is honest and that is all I care about. I don't care how you received it. I'm reading it for the review and honesty. I would also not reveal that I received a free sample, that might help to keep the "haters" or envious folks quiet. It's the review that counts right? I mean, as long as you're not cussing out the company, if you say: "this product doesn't deliver what it professes or is not long lasting" then that is being honest not malicious.

And I like your honesty in product reviews so keep up the good work.

Suzanna

Toya, thanks for posting that article.

I felt the article had a cleverly sensationalized tone. Moreover, Alison Brod, the PR for Laura Mercier, comes across sounding naive and petty. "It didn't seem fair that anyone could say anything they wanted about our products and have an audience." Well, Ms. Brod, what do you think women are talking about on coffee break, in the bathroom, on the phone, and over a glass of wine? You cannot stop the spread of information. Ms. Brod's totalitarianism is frightening. This is not North Korea, China, or the former Soviet Bloc. The Internet is the new form of disseminating information. And I believe there's a little thing called the First Amendment as well. Better brush up your Constitution.

I do understand that what Ms. Brod was driving at was the power inherent in the blogging platform. As a means of communication, the Internet spreads information faster. A bum product is a bum product and word will get out.

The only instances in which I would agree with Ms. Brod would be the ones in which a blogging layperson was erroneously making scientific claims or offering medical advice or suggesting untested alternative uses for the product that might result in harm (which has happened and is rightly censured).

Of course bloggers are going to receive products and incentives. The viral marketers and the PR agencies are looking for a blogger's network and to build ongoing goodwill and recognition for the brand. It's a lot more than a simple product review that may sell out a Behnaz lipstick.

I have no gripe with people who do not disclose the receipt of product. Several of the blogs I read always mention it, and there's another who never does but whose photographs of the upcoming LE products make it clear that she is one of the (seriously) "gifted." And that's okay with me.

Sephora paved the way for us to be able to try before we buy. This is now common practice everywhere. Even without freebies, not all products are going to work for all people. A good review simply sends me looking to try the product, not buy it. The origin of the blogger's test product is not a factor.

Tia is a beauty. Not just a beauty blogger. If anything was going to sway me to purchase something untried, it would be her stunning good looks, not what she wrote about a lipliner. This is what the article failed to mention: The most powerful influence is always the girl whose looks you wish you had.

koz

Suzanna - Well said on Alison Brod being naive. That was just plain pathetic. She is well aware -- being in the PR/ad industry -- that there are thousands of ways to say something negative and have an audience. Please.

I have to whole-heartedly disagree on your final sentence, though. But I guess I'm not the typical beauty consumer, so my feelings may be the exception. I don't seek products because I wish I had someone else's looks. I guess I just don't wish I had another girl's looks, period.

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