Looking for Something?

Knock, Knock. Who’s There? We’re Not Really Sure. Might Not Be Toyota.

Author:

… by Lucretia Pruitt

The masthead at the top of the page reads Dear Crissy: Momhood Captured

A classy and pretty blog that takes you through the days and experiences of one mom – Crissy.  Her picture and her family’s hang to the upper right of the page serving as both guardians and a reminder that you are here on her site. Someplace that there are adults, kids, possibly animals, lessons to learn, things to be reflected back on. From the design of the site? You know you’re on a bona fide Mommy Blog here.

Do you want to know about Crissy? Click on the About link – she’s pretty open. You think you’re here for ADS & PR? Open that link right up – it’s clearly visible on the page.

Dear Crissy is a PR-friendly blog, and while I am happy to accept all pitches, I am more likely to respond if you address me by my name (brownie points if you spell it right), and demonstrate that you have taken a moment to familiarize yourself with my blog. That said, let’s talk! dearcrissy@gmail.com.

Well now, that makes sense.  If I were a PR or AD gal, or even a brand representative, looking to know if we could work with her? There it is in a nutshell.

You know what it doesn’t say though?

It doesn’t say what sets Crissy off. Namely: being treated by a would-be client as if she’s cheap, unskilled labor – simply there to be taken advantage of by anyone clever enough to make it sound like they’re doing her a favor. Worse if they think she’s too stupid to know that she’s being used.

It actually sets anyone off. But, if you’re a professional blogger? You lose count of the number of times you have to explain to someone that ‘no, you don’t work for free‘, and ‘no, not for “exposure” but for actual money, although you might be willing to consider a product to review and keep if it were something you’d consider buying anyways‘  and that you are smart enough to know the FTC regulations that pertain to your industry, and you will be disclosing it, and you won’t have words put in your mouth.

You move from patiently treating folks as if they just need a little education on the subject, to frustratedly realizing that if you have to be educating them on those very basic concepts? They shouldn’t be working in blogger outreach.

So recently, when Crissy Page opened up yet another email pitch (she gets many of those, daily – because she’s a good blogger with a large audience that is fairly engaged) she was perhaps not surprised, but truly offended to read the ‘pitch’ that was inside.  In her own words:

Toyota wants to give me a $10 Amazon gift card to post some of their recent “positive news” on my blog, Tweet it to my 32,000 Twitter followers, and give a whole slew of their videos an endorsement on YouTube. Seriously, Toyota? I mean, seriously?

It appeared to Crissy – and a lot of people who later read the contents of the email pitch she received posted in its entirety – that Toyota was offering to pay mom bloggers $10 a piece to bury recent bad press.

So then the blogging began – which is what bloggers do. They write about stuff they think is relevant to their readers.

Crissy’s post about it here not only included the email, but her reactions, and a link to a blog post from fellow mom blogger, Amanda Henson, over at High Impact Mom who had pointed out that a recent television ad by Toyota which had the line “we don’t make cars for magazines, or road tests, or bloggers – we make them for you…” was less than friendly to bloggers. Crissy said that she had nothing against the woman from MommyNetworks.org who had sent her the bad pitch but stated “I have no idea how much she was compensated by Toyota to recruit mom bloggers in this scenario. I can only assume it was more than a $10 Amazon gift card.

News of Crissy’s post started spreading quickly. Other blogs started picking up the story and the Twitter hashtag #ToyotaFail began showing up in Tweets about the incident with links back to her post.  Toyota’s social media team was paying attention though, and put up a tweet quickly using the hashtag to make sure it showed up on the “Twitter Channel” folks were listening to that read “Have found no contracted affiliation w/ mommynetworks. We don’t support this type of outreach. Getting to the bottom of this.^SD #toyotafail”

At around the same time Samantha Snyder, the owner of Mommy Networks, contacted Crissy by email stating that she had no professional affiliation with Toyota, but had initiated this program on her own, because she was both a loyal Toyota fan and because she thought she could use it as a ‘case study’ for Mommy Networks to attract new customers.

Some skepticism at this idea naturally arose in the comments section of Crissy’s post (which was updated to reflect new information as it came flying in.) The question as to where the money for the $10 Amazon Gift cards was coming from has yet to be answered.  But Samantha’s presence in the Comments section defending her actions brought a new question into focus: if Samantha had no relationship with Toyota – how was a blogger supposed to know if the pitch coming her way was legitimate?

Christy, who blogs at ShakeTheSalt.com, commented that “Between this and the Lansinoh thing, I’m thinking companies need to figure out who they are and are not working with.

Wait, what? Lansinoh? What Lansinoh thing?

A little digging on Google brought to light another such blogger/brand incident that occured recently over Lansinoh® breast pumps.  It appears that Jennifer McKinney (also known as @mckmama) had posted a giveaway on her blog of 4 Lansinoh® Affinity® Double Electric Breast Pumps.  From what can be ascertained by reading Lansinoh’s official response to the incident here and on Ms. McKinney’s post about the incident here – it seems clear that a PR agency had given Ms. McKinney the pumps to give away. Lansinoh claims it was done without their knowledge or approval. Ms. McKinney claims she has emails to the contrary. No one seems willing to name the mysterious PR agency/3rd party that acted on behalf of Lansinoh to offer Ms. McKinney the 4 pumps (valued at around $600.) What is not discernable is why Lansinoh felt that it needed to say “Lansinoh does not support or endorse the blog My Charming Kids or @MckMama” while admitting that their agency did in fact supply her with them.

A little more digging brings up a site that seems to be dedicated solely to exposing issues with Ms. McKinney, and from their own post on the matter here? They seem to have had a hand in bringing about Lansinoh’s awareness, the initial tweeted responses that Lansinoh was not affiliated with Ms. McKinney, her site, or the giveaway, and in part, the final statement that it was a “3rd party” who was responsible.

Let’s talk just a moment here about agency, shall we?

We social media types throw the word agency around a lot when we’re talking about who does what, and what kind of company is responsible for what kind of work.  But the term “agency” has a very specific, legal meaning in the U.S. The wikipedia entry for agency reads:

The law of agency is an area of commercial law dealing with a contractual or quasi-contractual, or non-contractual set of relationships when an agent is authorized to act on behalf of another (called the Principal) to create a legal relationship with a Third Party. Succinctly, it may be referred to as the relationship between a principal and an agent whereby the principal, expressly or impliedly, authorizes the agent to work under his control and on his behalf. The agent is, thus, required to negotiate on behalf of the principal or bring him and third parties into contractual relationship. This branch of law separates and regulates the relationships between:

* Agents and Principals;
* Agents and the Third Parties with whom they deal on their Principals’ behalf; and
* Principals and the Third Parties when the Agents purport to deal on their behalf.

Unless you’re a lawyer or just dig legalease, that sounds a little complex. So I’m going to put it in lay terms:

When a brand hires any “agency” whether it’s a PR agency, a Digital agency, or Social Media agency, the brand representatives sign papers with that agency that let them negotiate or contract with other people on the brand’s behalf.

This means that when a blogger is working with Bob’s PR Agency on a campaign for Susie’s Widgets, Bob is working as an agent for Susie to hire the blogger.

You see, too many bloggers have absolutely no background in business.  They are writers and community builders and dang good ones.  But that doesn’t mean that they automatically know that an “agent” has specific legal powers and responsibilities.

When the whole #ToyotaFail event came to the attention of Scott DeYager (@ScottDeYager) of Toyota’s social media team, the first thing he did was try to contact the folks at MommyNetworks to find out who she was working with. “@mommynetworks Hi there. Wondering if you could DM me who (if anyone) at Toyota contracted you to seed the Toyota news. Thanks.

One of the first things the folks at Lansinoh did was try to track down who, if anyone, was working with Ms. McKinney.

The reason for this is that if an agency contracted someone to work on your behalf? You can end up legally responsible for whatever they say or do in your name. Because, signing a contract with an agency giving them the power to create agreements with bloggers is the same as if you hired them yourself when it comes to legal stuff.

So who is responsible for what then?

Well, usually in cases like this if there are damages (another legally specific term), the lawyers and the courts start getting involved. And then it comes up to them to determine what the damage was, who was responsible, and whether or not the problem can be fixed (remedied) or can only be punished (punitive damages) in order to discourage people from doing it again.

In the instance of Jennifer McKinney and Lansinoh? According to her post, it looks like Jennifer is not taking any further actions. Lansinoh hasn’t said anything other than they’re “looking into their approval processes” which likely means that next contract with the PR agency they hired is likely to read a little differently.

On the Toyota-MommyNetworks front, as of the writing of this, Ms. Snyder had replaced her MommyNetworks.org site with an apology of sorts. A letter to Crissy & Toyota that reads a little bit like an admission, and a still a bit like an accusation that somehow this is Crissy’s fault.

She expresses the hope that everyone will just leave her alone now. And while it’s a nice idea to think that you can just say “oops, I’m sorry, I’ll stop. Go away now” – that depends entirely on what Toyota’s legal department will have to decide (and also that of Care.com’s – who on a sidenote was dragged into the mess due to a copyright in the footer of mommynetworks.org. One that Ms. Snyder said was ‘there when she bought the template from her designer.’)  The negative PR that arose from this incident may or may not be overlooked by the companies it hurt.  Since they were apparently the unwitting victim of this ill-conceived idea, they may not be so willing to let Ms. Snyder off the hook lest other bloggers think that they can do the same without consequences.

The fallout from the whole thing has yet to be felt.

As a result of things like this? There’s the question in blogger’s minds about who they can and can’t trust.  If a pitch comes from an agency, will the brand back it up?  Lansinoh didn’t back up Ms. McKinney.  If the pitch comes from someone who not only isn’t an agency, but also has no relationship with the brand – how will a blogger know it’s not legit?  Should their FTC mandated disclosures include the PR agency that hired the blogger on behalf of the brand?

And over on the brand side — How are you to protect yourself from well-meaning bloggers? Toyota did nothing in this case yet was the focus of a flurry of negative PR.  Do the brands know who the agencies are contracting with on their behalf? Are they included in the conversations and emails of the agencies and bloggers?  How much more work is it going to cause if they have to micromanage the agencies they hired so that they didn’t have to do this themselves?  What about the bloggers who need to verify if someone is working on their behalf – is there an obvious point of contact for them within the brand?

Christy over at ShakeTheSalt.com says “I do not think it falls on the blogger to fact check a PR reps claims that they represent XYZ brand. The chance of false claims from a PR rep about who they represent is slim to none.  Campaigns are not cheaply run and the product has to come from somewhere when product is involved.”

Kelby Carr who runs her own blogger network at TypeAParent.com commented on Crissy’s post “This is very scary…One, it is really disturbing that someone can slap up a site and start pretending to represent major corporations, and ask mom bloggers to do ethically questionable things for $10 gift cards. Two, I think there is a lesson in here for companies. Toyota is smart and clearly monitors the discussion about their company in social media. What about a company that doesn’t? That isn’t on Twitter and pays no attention to blogs? The truth might have never come out.

There will be a period of mistrust on both sides of the fence after episodes like these.  Which is sad, because they really need to be working together to make things work well.  The question of who should bear the burden? Well, I guess that depends on who stands the most to lose. At the moment, that pretty much looks like everybody.

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  • Rick Calvert

    Great post Lucretia! Every blogger should beware when they get solicited to do anything on behalf of any brand. I am always saying we are in the wild west days of new media and these examples are evidence of that.

    • Lucretia Pruitt

      It’s funny you mention the Wild West days Rick… because I was just thinking a few moments ago that for all we *feel* like we’ve been doing this forever now? It really just a drop in the bucket, isn’t it?

      I keep thinking we’re starting to get some things down when it comes to building the foundations of the new media world – but then something like this comes along and you start thinking “well, maybe not. Maybe we are still a boom town.”

      I love the fact that there’s so much dialog going on about it. I hate the fact that it’s still so disparate. Too many really good conversations are going on in comment threads that won’t get read outside of those still following one post or another. I know we’re going to have another incident down the road aways where people are saying “see? I said this would happen over on this one blog in comment #234!!”

      I know there are a lot of amazing engineers working on ‘that next big thing’ and that some of them are trying to figure out how you tie all of these conversations together for the person that searches on “blogger outreach” or “disclosure” – I just hope the get it right soon. I kind of picture it akin to getting the telegraph into the frontier towns. Finally, everyone will know that the ‘law’ isn’t different from one town to the next.

  • Angel Djambazov

    Smart post Lucretia. Good job giving context to readers about how such relationships work between blogger/agency/advertiser. I think the additional middle man you forgot was ad network, for instance IZEA would be a relevant example. An advertiser could hire an agency to approach an ad network to distribute a campaign to bloggers. So tracking down who has actual authority can get convoluted rather quickly (it gets even crazier than that if you are talking about tracking “offers” rather than “campaigns…but I would need to be able to draw a graph here in the comments section to explain that one).

    It is also common for advertisers to disclaim their responsibility for remaining inside the rule of law by blaming 3rd parties. If you care to ever look up the sordid history of Zango you will find some interesting reading.

    I don’t have an easy solution for bloggers who want a clear way to do due diligence about who they are working with. Taking a moment to check the background/reputation of who is approaching you with the offer is one step. Two clear warning signs are a) if the payout/promotion/topic isn’t a fit for your demographic; b) if the payout/offer is too good to be true.

    • Rick Calvert

      Good advice Angle. All bloggers should be skeptical of all solicitations from party’s you don’t know.

    • Lucretia Pruitt

      Yikes! but adding one more layer of complexity to it Angel shows all the more what the dangers are when you are dealing with someone who doesn’t really know what they are doing.
      I’m sure Ms. Snyder is a very nice, very well intentioned woman who is wondering why everything seemed fine one minute, then fell apart catastrophically for her the next. The answer is pretty much “you tried to jump into a pretty complex situation without having the necessary skills or background, the common sense to understand that you didn’t have them and the drive to acquire them elsewhere before proceeding, and the believe that ‘the worst that could happen’ was that you didn’t make any money.
      The worst that could happen in our industry is a lot worse than that. Because we’re dealing with reputations and impact and emotions that swing from one extreme to the opposite in a moment.
      That’s kinda why when I don’t know something? I hunt down the smartest people I know (present company usually very much included) and *ask* them.

  • Fiona

    Lucretia – it’s funny because I actually wrote “see?” on a blog post today and as a social media marketing/pr gal who happens to also be a “mom who blogs”, I tend to keep a low profile most of the time; however, I’ve been feeling this major sense of anxiety on behalf of my own clients for some time now and yesterday I just could not sit back and watch. I work with smaller businesses and the investment in brand building is often proportionally large for them. As a result I feel extremely protective and find myself increasingly frustrated by the lack of professionalism on the part of bloggers and PR alike. As PR and communications professionals who “get it”, we have to come together and find a way to establish . The “dialogue” between bloggers and PR is no longer “how will we work with one another and should bloggers be paid?”, but “how can we partner as professionals to foster an environment that educates our colleagues on both sides of the game?”. Our sphere is extremely unstable and our clients are at risk… Your comment on my post saying “let’s stop calling her a blogger” is fair enough but the reality is anyone with online access can start a blog and go to town-as Rick pointed out, it’s the Wild West days of new media!

    • Lucretia Pruitt

      A fair point! But I could write a press release or 3 and no one is really going to start calling me a PR agent! ;)
      I have been on this kick, you know, to get some professionalism where it is lacking only due to opportunity. I want to run these sessions for bloggers that focus solely on the ‘so now you’re a small business person’ aspect. Cover things you never learn waiting tables, pouring the perfect mocha, teaching kindergarten – and other really cool jobs that I know some bloggers who came from them. But that doesn’t mean you know what an LoA is. Or a Statement of Work. You don’t know if you’re in their system as a vendor – what the payout window is 30? 90 days? You don’t know the difference between a billable hour and a non-billable hour…
      It’s something that’s going to be needed if there’s a chance at bringing this under control :)

      • Nicole aka Finance Diva

        At the chance of sounding like I am throwing #SSP (Shameless Self Promotion) out here in the comments even though I am not – I am going to say I completely agree.

        The blogging conferences and other tweetups are so focused on building a brand, building readership, the perfect position for advertisement, A/B testing, reader profiles, and networking they forget about the business side of things.

        I am trying to start my own small movement of financial bloggers/information to help bloggers learn more about the business side of things and how to protect personal assets from a reader who decides to sue or a brand who decides to sue. What about all of the free products the bloggers are receiving? How many of them are claiming it as income? There is so much more to running a successful business then just throwing a website up and engaging. Its part of the reason my own blog/website is taking so long to full develop. I am writing basic contracts, engagement letters, and invoices BEFORE truly marketing/launching. I am taking my time and treading slowly into a world where its easy to have your screwups broadcast far and wide. Its much harder to control that damage.

        Nicole
        Finance Diva

        • Lucretia Pruitt

          Nicole, I’m just happy I can add you to my growing list of people I can refer other people to who can help them get on the right path to small business ownership.
          Do me a favor and shoot me an email at lucretia at thesocialjoint(dot)com?
          I’d love to talk with you further about the helping other bloggers to acquire the business skills aspect of all of this. You’d be surprised which conferences this year are adding those very much needed sessions & workshops to their line-ups. Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised – it’s kind of a natural extension of blogging as a profession.

          • Tara

            I would be so interested in taking a “business side of blogging” class!

            I think it is an important topic that every blogger, who works with brands and PR, should know about. I know for a fact that I need more education on it!

  • Dave Van de Walle

    Great summary of the pitfalls and pratfalls here, Lucretia.

    Toyota did an awesome job handling this, IMHO.

    Cheers.

    • Lucretia Pruitt

      They really did, didn’t they? I have to say, I was kidding a bit over on Shelley Kramer’s blog when she first wrote about this http://is.gd/hityvr saying “does Toyota have a social media team?” But I’m more than happy to find out that it was *my* ignorance as to their existence and not their ignorance of their field!
      Scott DeYager is a class act. I’ve been lucky enough to know Scott Monty at Ford and Christopher Barger at Chevy – who both fall on my “wicked smart, know their business, are probably ten steps ahead of you when it comes to social media for global companies” list and I’m already fairly certain I will be adding Mr. DeYager to that list soon.
      For a non-car blogger, it seems like the auto industry is choosing their brand shepherds really well.

  • Scott DeYager

    Hi all,

    I want to start out by thanking all of you for the comments/posts around this recent and very interesting incident. I’ve been reading the posts/comments and sharing these with the upper levels of management at Toyota.

    We take these conversations very seriously and are in the process of addressing our social media structure for sustainable future growth. While our team hasn’t necessarily been in the media spotlight, we are working incredibly hard to make sure we’re positioned to listen, support…and most importantly, be a part of the conversations taking place.

    Thanks again,

    @ScottDeYager
    Toyota Motor Sales, USA
    Social Media Supervisor

    • Lucretia Pruitt

      Scott – thank you so much for stopping by and letting us know that you’re still processing all of this internally at Toyota. Reading that your team and your company are prepared “to listen, support…and most importantly, be a part of the conversations taking place” is just pretty fabulous from this viewpoint.

      That this will be a case study many of us discuss in the upcoming year, is fairly certain – but there was that brief hour where the question as to whether it was a “what not to do” or not was in question, until you tweeted out your message about looking into it. I saw the results that CoTweet published and have to say that you have a definite “what to do” study on your hands!

      While my sympathies go out to you and your team – having your brand hijacked is never a good experience – I really just want to congratulate you all on how well and professionally you handled it.

      Thanks again!
      LMP

  • Anne-Marie Nichols

    There has been veiled hints in other posts and comments on the Toyota-Mommy Networks fiasco that mom bloggers aren’t smart and experienced enough to have figured out that the pitch Crissy (and others) received was fake. Somehow a badly written pitch should have sent red flags to all who received it that it wasn’t coming from a legit PR agency or consultant. Somehow we’re supposed to know when a PR agency or consultant is fly-by-night, fake or doesn’t know what they’re doing by the way they send out emails.

    I can show you beautifully written pitches by link buying firms who were probably hired by the SEO consultant who was hired by the marketing agency who was hired by the brand (or some version of that) to get bloggers to write positive things about a brand’s products.

    And I can show you some awful pitches by reputable PR firms – you know the ones who win awards and have branches all over the world. My email trash folder is full of them.

    I can also tell you a story of how Brand B in a partnership with Brand A hired a PR consultant to pay bloggers, including myself, to attend a press conference w/o telling Brand A about it. When I mentioned it to a colleague who works with Brand A, he passed on the details and Brand A blew a gasket. The PR person was fired, but not before accusing me of divulging confidential info – though none of his correspondence ever mentioned that it was private. Lesson learned on everyone’s part.

    So truly, how is someone supposed to realize a pitch is legit especially when the brand (and their social media team) has no idea who their marketing team has hired – or their PR firm has hired – to do blogger outreach for them?

    This is further complicated by the fact that many of these companies are so huge that they have dozens of marketing firms and agencies working on publicizing their products. PR agency A handles the cheese product. PR agency B handles the frozen entrees. PR agency C handles the frozen treats. Etc, etc, etc.

    It’s enough to make your head spin.

    • Lucretia Pruitt

      Your story about Brand B, Brand A, the fired PR guy, and the blame being placed on you by him *should* read as a funny “nuh-uh – no way!!” story, but it’s sadly not shocking from here Anne-Marie.

      There is a part of our industry that is going to have to hammer out the Blogger Outreach conventions pretty quickly or there will be more and more of these crazy stories.

      Technically, by the whole definition of agency I put up above? You could argue that Brand A had absolutely no right to ”blow a gasket” at anyone other than Brand B who clearly didn’t let them know about it. But as usual, the trickle-down theory somehow went A-to-B, B-to-Agency, PR Agent-to-Blogger and somehow it’s your fault that none of them are acting like professionals. The thing they don’t quite realize as yet is that bloggers do, without crossing certain lines, talk to each other. If you had a *really* negative experience with a PR person or a brand and you heard another blogger saying “has anyone worked with X? Because they pitched me…” I know that at worst what you would say is “just make sure to get everything in writing and the scope outlined well first.” I also know that sentence reads volumes to pretty much any blogger.

      The part that is disturbing in both the stories I outlined and your more personal experiences is that all 3 of the cogs in this machine of brand-agency-blogger should be working together to make things better for each other – but instead, the process has broken down to turn them into adversarial components. Really the person who loses the most? The consumer who really could’ve benefited from it all.

      Thanks for the add-on Anne-Marie! Great additional information.

  • Sara

    You know I’ve been a PR person for a loooooong time now, and I think many people are focusing on the terrible nature and content of the pitch, but not as much as you rightly pointed out, the relationship between a PR or any agency and a brand. Things have changed so much in the 10+ years I’ve been working in the industry and with individual bloggers now acting as a brand’s own individual PR agent, the landscape is so altered it’s increasingly hard to see how the relationship lines are drawn. What I continue to hope is that this helps moves the ball forward with regards to how PR firms deal with the brands they represent + outreach to bloggers and how bloggers respond, rightly so at first in this case. I hope to write about this soon on my blog, and look forward to the day I can meet you in person to discuss! Thanks for posting this.

    • Lucretia Pruitt

      Thanks Sara! I’m looking forward to meeting you and talking about this and a dozen other things some day! :)

      The transition from ‘casual blogger’ to ‘professional blogger with engaged audience and respected opinions who works with brands and agencies’ is the part of the process I find so fascinating right now. The processes have to be defined and redefined. The people are at the heart of all the processes though – and it’s clear that the choice is in our collective hands. We just all need to work together.

  • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot

    Very interested to read all this Lucretia. Thank you for summing it all up for me here and to Rick for hosting it. I’ve personally experienced one major brand doing this too but without the help of an agency or the offer of a $10 gift voucher as an incentive. I was supposed to pony up free of charge. I won’t mention who as my own brand is built around being postive and not complaining but it bugged me a lot!

    When you’re dealing with human beings you have to handle them with care and get someone who really understands social media and is part of it to deal with it (ie not someone who wants to learn about it or has just attended a Twitter workshop.)

    Brands – I recommend finding bloggers who already love your brand or who you can win over to it. Sadly it takes more than $10 to convert bloggers into genuine evangelists though.

    As this story shows it’s a highly senstive area which needs to be dealt with sensitively, not by people who send out mass emails and spell people’s names wrong.

    • Lucretia Pruitt

      Annabel!! Thanks for weighing in.

      I think at some point we will find that situations like this are less common because someone getting a pitch like that would say “please… I know this brand and they have always been straight up in their social media presence – they would never endorse something like this.” And brands would never think to work with someone who would treat their media partners so shabbily, so they could expect that any agency they work with will have good relationships with the people that they want representing them.

      But for now? We’re still in the early enough days of this industry that it’s not automatic. :\

  • Jerri Ann Reason

    Just as it seemed like we were starting to build relationships with brands and by we, I mean bloggers, and build trust with brands, something like this comes along and sets us back 100 years. Moreover, we end up back in those Wild Wild West days even when we really just want to be the Jetson’s and fly around with helmets on that run our RSS feeds into our head.

    It’s a sad story and the saddest part of all, many many many bloggers would have never turned over the leaf to see what was really going on. That said, for $10, I probably would have just hit delete, but would have never questioned it again. Sadly, had the money been a little more, I may have gone right ahead and never looked back. I’m not a big time blogger and I tend to take what comes my way. But, $10? I’m just glad that there are those out there that recognize the suspicious stuff when it does come through and I will be more diligent going forward. I rarely work for $10 to a small project and the supposed Toyota thing or MommyNetworks (heck I don’t even know what to call it) was extensive and I’m not going to say I never have or that I won’t in the future. I just hope I have the good sense to investigate any pitches I get from outsiders just a little bit better now.

    Who would have “thunk” that big #FAIL with anything behind would have ever been the highlight of many Twitter days?

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