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Posts Tagged ‘Julia Allison’

Julia Allison Hires Her First PR Agency

[Photo courtesy Nick McGlynn]

Julia Allison, the ubiquitous Web personality and columnist, has hired her first PR agency. One South By Southwest (SXSW) attendee who was present at an event with Allison at the Fast Company Grill yesterday tells PRNewser she announced a new relationship with Susan Blond‘s agency.

Allison is not working with the legendary Blond herself, but rather another publicist at the agency.

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Bloggers and Marketers Closely Watching Proposed FTC Guidelines

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[Image: Adweek]

PR, marketing and advertising professionals are watching closely new proposed guidelines from the FTC that would make both companies and bloggers liable for any “false claims,” or if the blogger failed to disclose the nature of the relationship with a company or agency behind a post. The FTC has caught on to the fact that many bloggers are being paid – either in free products/services or cash – to plug those products or services on their site.

Edelman Chicago’s senior VP for consumer brands and social media, Danielle Wiley recently spoke with Advertising Age about this topic, among others. When it comes to paying bloggers, Wiley stated, “We’ve reached out to them [bloggers] with a product, and asked them to review it; they’ve come back to us and offered to do a positive review in return for pay. We don’t do that. We said no.”

That’s not stopping several high profile bloggers from attending and speaking at the upcoming IZEAFest this fall, the first annual conference for IZEA, formerly called Pay Per Post, which pays bloggers to mention and review products and services of their clients. Among the speakers include Ford social media lead Scott Monty, President of New Marketing Labs Chris Brogan and David Binkowski, SVP, Word of Mouth Marketing at Manning, Selvage & Lee.

When asked about his relationship with IZEA, Binkowski told PRNewser, “I personally don’t work for IZEA…and am going to be speaking about how Izea bloggers can work better with marketers and promote themselves while staying within the guidelines of the FTC.”

He also told us that at MS&L, “we do not pay for blog posts unless the bloggers have been hired to write on behalf of a client’s blog. Our firm’s roots are in earned media and the online extension of our practice is no different.” Binkowski did say in regards to Izea’s policies, “my personal position is that provided there is disclosure there is no issue.”

We agree with Binkowski’s take. If the blogger adheres to proper disclosure, there is no issue, from the FTC perspective. However, bloggers and companies like IZEA will have to be extra careful with disclosure if the new guidelines are approved. Things like IZEA blogger Julia Allison‘s disclosure slip up last month get much more serious. Also, the bigger issue may be how the disclosure changes that blogger’s long term credibility and relationship with readers, if at all.

PRNewser spoke to IZEA CEO Ted Murhpy at this year’s SXSW conference, were he discussed some of these issues.

New IZEA Featured Blogger Julia Allison Forgets Disclosure, Keeps Job

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Time Out New York dating columnist, “lifecaster” and girl about town Julia Allison is now a featured blogger for IZEA, the social media company that pays bloggers to post about products or services. The practice is controversial and the debate around it has been consistently evolving over recent months.

PRNewser interviewed the company’s founder and CEO Ted Murphy at this year’s South By Southwest conference.

One of the main tenets of the company’s service is based around disclosure, before a blogger posts about any product or service. And so far there haven’t been any incidents, as far as we know. Until now.

Per Gawker:

…Allison has started working hard for one of its [IZEA] featured clients, Sea World, which is inviting bloggers to a press junket this week. Today on her NonSociety blog, Allison gushed about her upcoming trip to the marine park with no fewer than five exclamation marks. On Twitter she was a bit more restrained, with just one “!” (the microblogging service limits users to 140 characters, after all).

Neither of those posts included any disclosure of Allison’s relationship to Izea or Sea World – even though such disclosure is required by Izea.

Allison went on to disclose, and a rather thorough and candid IM exchange between her and Gawker’s Ryan Tate is outlined in the post. We contacted Ted Murphy, who stood by a comment he also left on the Gawker post: “This is our first engagement of any type with Julia. I believe she made an honest mistake.” He also stressed that SeaWorld isn’t paying any of the bloggers but rather giving them, “airfare and hotel, the same as their mainstream media counterparts.” However, Allison is being paid by IZEA. Said Murphy, “Julia has been hired by IZEA (not SeaWorld) outside of this event to provide consulting services. She will be working with me to share her insight and ideas on a variety of social media and marketing topics.”