Monday, 11 January 2016

When Brands Take Advantage

All of us have received those e-mails from brands that go into a long winded essay about 'How much they love your blog' and how they are keen to work with you to promote themselves. But how many of us have told them where to go?

Last week, Poppy from Poppy alla Norma tweeted about how she was angry that a brand had expected her to blog for them completely free of charge. I felt compelled to reply to her venting my own frustrations as I too am the victim of these people. She mentioned that she was called condescending by the brand for simply telling them that it is unethical to expect her to work for free. Who exactly has the authority to say such things? Absolutely no one.  

In the two years that i have been blogging, I have been very fortunate to be compensated by 99.9% of the brands and companies that have contacted me and I am, as ever, incredibly grateful. But with the good comes the bad. Many people have contacted me over the years with the most ridiculous propositions, such as;

- 'Write a 5000 word blog post with photos and social media and we will pay you $5.' (£3.43)

- 'Create a post with photos and we may enter you into our competition.'

- 'Will you put a banner on your blog to promote our company, we have no money but it is good publicity for us'

Believe me, this is a drop in the ocean compared to the endless free loading correspondence I receive. 

Though blogging is a career for a few people, the majority of us do it as a hobby and we do it in our own time. There is absolutely no valid reason why we should not be compensated for the work we do, do these PR executives or marketing dogsbodies sit behind their computers sending e-mails everyday and not receive a wage for it? I think not! So why do they think they can get away with expecting freebies? I'll tell you why.

These companies, regardless of their stature or popularity, will look to the cheapest form of advertising and that, unfortunately, is us. The little league bloggers. They know full well that if your name is not up in lights such as Zoe Sugg or Tanya Burr, who charge upwards of £20,000 for advertising, then you are cheap and cheerful. I have confronted many companies about this, specifically the ones who tell me that I should feel 'privileged' to even receive any contact from them, that expecting me to give up my free time to publicise their brand with a word and photo heavy post and spend a week advertising the fact on social media, is completely unacceptable and like Poppy said, unethical. 

It infuriates me to see so many new starters to the blogging world who are falling victim to these people. I get it ok, it's exciting to be contacted by them, it makes you feel like they have really gone out of their way to find your blog and then heavily praise it but, as harsh as it is to say it, you were picked at random. 

You should never feel intimidated by brands and never give into them if you do not agree to their terms. There is no shame in turning them down and no one will ever think less of you for it. So the brand may never contact you again, but is that really the end of the world? Of course not because for every brand that expects you to work for free, there is another that will compensate your for your time and hard work. 

You are a blogger, not slave labour. 


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