I saw an interesting article on cnn.com about “'Mommy bloggers' vow to avoid ethical conflicts” which discusses the relationship between mom bloggers and big brands. I can see the lure of this relationship from both sides. As a marketer, what better way to get your brand message out there than with mom bloggers? We gals love to pass on great deals, juicy news and the latest in products. I can’t say I’m bothered if there is a relationship between a mom blogger and a brand. If her advice leads me to coupons or knowing more about a product, I’m fine with that. Ultimately, it is up to me (the consumer) to decipher if I even want or need the product that is being promoted as with any type of advertising or news. And, if that product doesn’t live up to expectations, moms aren’t exactly quiet about that and go to the bloggers to show their disdain. Reading that “the FTC is reviewing federal guidelines for all bloggers” makes me think “They have nothing better to do?”
I, for one, receive no kick backs or perks from any business or website I mention in my blogging (but if anyone wants to give me a break – I’m all ears, LOL – just kidding). If a business is giving great customer service (so rare these days) or great deals (which we all want and need), blogging is a great way to share the news. I’m also one of those research fanatics that want to know everything about a product before I purchase (ex. I need new tires and have utilized tirerack.com and other sites to the hilt to educate myself). If I find a new site that can help any of us save a buck, I enjoying letting others in on the information. Such as, Yahoo just launched Yahoo! Deals which is similar to Brad's Deals.com. It won’t be my sole source of looking for online coupons or discounts but it is another resource worthy of saving in my ‘favorites/coupons’.
When it comes to the blogging phenom and how seriously you take other bloggers comments and recommendations, it is just like any type of discourse. Meaning, you aren’t forced to completely embrace what is being written but can decipher for yourself if it has meaning for you or applies to your needs. Do I think the FTC needs to regulate blogging if there is a relationship between a brand or product and a blogger? No, as long as there isn’t any bashing of a competitive product and it leads to coupons or deals, a relationship doesn't bother me. This is one of those areas where, as citizens in a free market, we should be able to make choices and use our own best judgment.
Having said that, here are some other new sites that I have recently found for deals:
http://www.rachelsdairy.com/ (coupons for a new yogurt brand with tasty flavors now at local grocers)
http://www.truenorthsnacks.com/ ($1 off coupon)