Alex, of the blog “Classy As F***”, recently posted about the weird disclosure ethics of sex toy company Adam & Eve. It seems they wanted to purchase a sponsored post from Alex – but once her post went up the company had some issues with her (legally required) disclosure:
[A]s it turns out, Adam & Eve aren’t so into having me disclose that it was a sponsored post. I was told (only after it was up) that I was only allowed to say it was a guest post or that it was done “in association with.” Basically, it sounds like they wanted to pass it off as a regular old guest post…
It appears Alex wasn’t the only blogger Adam & Eve tried to drag into their shady tactics. A GOMIBLOGer in the forum related their experience with the company, which sounds eerily similar:
They emailed me asking if they could write a guest post about their product, which was pretty relevant to my content and the types of things I write about. They said they’d offer me $100. I had never done anything like this but I figured sure, why the hole not. They wrote it, I published it, and at the bottom I included a note that said I was compensated in exchange for letting them publish the post. They said they needed me to remove that, and I explained that it was required through FTC guidelines (it is, right?) to be transparent about stuff like that. They were basically like “yea, ok, that’s cute and all but you have to take the post down now. We don’t want people to think we’re paying bloggers to publish content about our products. But we will still pay you if you just take it down.” So I got paid $100 to not publish a blog post by them.
Is this a common practice for sponsored posts now? Or is this just one company trying to get one past bloggers who may not know that if they are paid to post something, they MUST disclose it?