In a few years of experience I have received unusual cooperation proposals. While most companies make sure that mutual promotion is satisfactory for both parties, so often I meet smart "contractors" who are clearly trying to advertise their product range at the lowest possible cost.
A few months ago a company offering a package came to me free sanitary napkins worth PLN 50. I was expected from me detailed daily reviews from testing intimate hygiene products that I would post on my blog, on the producer's website, on his funpage on Facebook and on popular internet forums. Not only that, I was required to organize and conduct a competition in which the prizes would come from a package I had previously received. In addition, I was obliged to make a six-month advertisement for the company in the form of a banner placed in the central part of my blog. Of course, I thanked for cooperation. Earlier, however, I offered my own terms, which the producer did not agree due to the low budget.
Another time I decided to contact a popular company that produces Accessories for children (teats, bottles, tableware, toothbrushes, etc.) I received a positive response and I was offered 3 full-fledged products (non-spill cup, brush, scissors) and two samples of lactation pads and bottle cleaning liquid. All this is a trifle - 20 reviews. Due to the fact that I participate in well-known forums and portals and the manufacturer got acquainted with a sample of my writing capabilities, the number of required reviews was not so staggeringly large. A familiar blogger had to write 45 opinions for a similar package. What have we got besides "free" products? We've raised the reputation of our blogs. Other companies, seeing that a well-known producer trusted us, willingly agreed to cooperation. Was it worth getting involved? This blogger should answer this question, which had the pleasure to take part in a similar action.
This week level of absurdity reached bottom. Intrigued by the announcement that I found on the diaper manufacturer's website about the recruitment of eager babies for testing, I sent my application. I think the impressive achievements and convincing e-mail meant that I received the terms of cooperation almost immediately. At first they seemed like a farce to me. After a while, I realized how the company was trying to find a free form of advertising. Here's what I was offered in the form of testing regulations:
- Diapers Mxxx Lxxx Test Program are used.
- Diapers have test markings.
- Each diaper is washed in antibacterial baby powder before shipping
- The number of diapers to be tested is limited, which may necessitate queuing.
- Diapers have any pattern.
- The diaper is rented for a period of 14 calendar days - the days are counted from the next business day after the day when we sent the diaper.
- Use the diaper as intended and wash it in accordance with the washing instructions provided.
- After 14 days, the next business day, the diaper should be sent by registered mail to the address that we will send in the next message.
- The diaper should be washed before sending it back.
- If the diaper is damaged or not delivered, the test person undertakes to pay PLN 50 to XXX
- Diapers should be sent by registered mail, if they are sent back by ordinary mail and are lost, the test person will be charged 50 PLN.
- To receive a diaper, please reply to this email by sending a statement: I accept the rules of the Mxxx Lxxx Diaper Test Program. Attach to the message a scan of your ID card (or its legible photo) and enter the address to which the diaper should be sent.
- Personal data will not be collected and will only be used for purposes related to the operation of the Test Program. "
I was suggested form of recycling - I was supposed to receive used diaper for two weeks! After 14 days I was obliged to return the tested product at my own expense. In the event of failure to comply with the contract, I would be obliged to pay a fine of PLN 50. In the event of destruction of a used product, I would also be credited to the producer's account with the said amount. I do not know if this company is aware of how unhygienic it would be for a baby to use diapers that another child previously had in his possession.
In addition to health reasons, I have a financial issue in mind. I can't imagine that a diaper used by a number of children would be delivered to me in a condition that would allow me to continue using it. Therefore, it would probably be damaged during use, which entails the need to pay an amount that is not adequate to the condition of the product. I also wonder where the diapers intended for testing come from? Are they the "legacy" of the children of people working for this company? Is the company trying to make money on used diapers? In general, how can you suggest not only that a used product should require its return after the testing period? Which company respecting its clients does so? After all, it would be more honest to offer several people testing a full-fledged product and retaining it in exchange for a detailed opinion.
I use parental kit to describe companies that try to earn money unfairly on blogging moms.
After the article was published, the owners of the company described in the article contacted us. We are of the opinion that you must always give the opportunity to speak to the other party. Below we publish the explanation received.
The Test Program was not targeted at Bloggers-Testers - we launched it on specific requests I have interested in renting diapers before making a purchase. On our profile on Facebook, we've published an entry encouraging people hesitating to buy our products to read the Test Program, the rules of which we passed on after completing the form on our website.
An email with the rules on which we rent diapers was sent automatically. In response to the submission of the author of the article, which described the desire to test the product in exchange for a review, it could actually have the misleading impression that we are passing used diapers for a limited time to Bloggers in exchange for a review.
We apologize to both the author of the article and all misled Bloggers for not mismatching this issue.
At the same time, we emphasize that we respect the work of Bloggers and have never offered to test used products in exchange for a review. The title of the article and theses contained in the content suggest that we act dishonestly. This is not true. In cooperation with Bloggers, we are guided by the principle of honesty and respect for their work. We always provide new products for review.
At the same time, we want to inform you that emails with diaper rental rules are currently being sent as individual responses. We've also removed the misleading word 'test' and replaced it with 'borrow'.
In the future, we will try to make our messages unambiguous - so as to avoid similar ambiguities.