Golden Valley-based General Mills is recruiting bloggers to sing the praises of their products. The recently launched MyBlogSpark network — “a fun and exciting group of bloggers that have access to review new products and services and participate in exciting giveaways, surveys and events” — has some 800 bloggers, more than 80 percent of whom are moms. One rule from the signup materials: “If you feel you cannot write a positive post regarding the product or service, please contact the MyBlogSpark team before posting any content.”
With printed newspapers struggling to keep afloat, these “mommy bloggers” are a coveted marketing resource. “Some of these bloggers have bigger distribution than newspapers,” said General Mills’ David Witt. Indeed. The company claims the 800 MyBlogSpark bloggers have drawn some eight million visitors so far.
According to a marketing exec who helped General Mills set up the program, that line about writing positive reviews doesn’t mean bloggers can’t write negative posts. “We want to know if someone does not have a good experience with one of our products so we can share [that feedback] with the brand,” Stacy Becker of Coyne Public Relations told Adweek. “They are free to write anything they’d like, though.”
She couldn’t, however, come up with a case where a negative review had been posted.
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