Are Food Bloggers Pushovers?

While preparing for my trip to Australia for Eat.Drink.Blog next month (I know! So lucky.), I came across this article in the daily paper there. It portrays food bloggers as naive amateurs willing to flog products, people, and restaurants.

A PR firm invited a handful of Australian bloggers to a demo of dried soup stock by Chef Marco Pierre White. The author of the article ridiculed food bloggers for writing about the event and endorsing the product, as did several others he quoted. A sample:

“Do you know how many newspapers ran [news] stories on Marco Pierre White during his visit?” asks Ed Charles, a prominent Melbourne blogger and freelance journalist (who did not attend the event). “None. Firstly, because most people under 40 haven’t heard of Marco Pierre White, given he hasn’t cooked in a commercial kitchen since 1999. And secondly, because what PR people have realised is that bloggers are a nicer audience to deal with than journalists. Very few bloggers are critical and if you give them something to write about they will just publish it.”


But then, I say the same thing when I speak at food blogger conferences. I am tired of [Read more…]

FTC Backpedals on Disclosure for Reviews


Okay, now this is getting strange. First, as mentioned previously, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created a big flap a few weeks ago when it said it will fine bloggers $11,000 if they endorse a product without admitting they got the product for free. Now, at least one FTC official is backpedaling or clarifying, depending on how charitable you want to be.

The good news: Book reviewers are safe.  The bad news: Those Amazon links on your website may not be.

According to an article in Publisher’s Weekly, FTC lawyer Mary Engle said at a blogger conference that writers with a “personal blog, writing a genuine or organic review,” did not need to disclose [Read more…]