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Is it Ever Okay to ‘Sponsor’ Blogger Coverage?

Would you be skeptical about the objectivity of a blog post that had been ‘sponsored’ by a company that was perhaps the subject of the post in question? More to the point: is it a good idea to pay a blogger for coverage? It’s a conversation more and more bloggers and corporations are having lately (side note: to the best of our knowledge the policy here at mediabistro.com is that we are not allowed to accept sponsored content, however if, say, Moet & Chandon wanted to put that to a test we’d be willing to take it to the bosses.)

As times get tougher and advertising dollars are harder to come by companies are turning to bloggers to help get the word out — with full disclosure, of course. Read, Write, Web reports that analyst firm Forrester has issued a report encouraging companies to do just that: “The report, titled “Add Sponsored Conversations to Your Toolbox”, is 8 pages long, focuses on a number of high profile examples like the case of KMart and Chris Brogan, and sells for $795.” ($795! Who says people won’t pay for content.)

RWW, however, strongly disagrees saying: “we think that paying bloggers to write about your company is a dangerous and unsavory path for new media and advertisers to go down.” What say you readers? Do you think sponsored content is ever appropriate?

Is Paying a Blogger for Content/Coverage Ever Appropriate?
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