"Media today is so cynical that you have to come out and say that shilling without disclosure is a bad idea," writes BusinessWeek's Jon Fine. Fine reports on product placement on web logs or blogs. Ted Murphy of the Tampa, Florida ad agency MindComet launched the BlogStar Network in 2004, which paid $5 to $10 per post. He said "a couple thousand" bloggers had cashed in, via the network. Murphy's new project, PayPerPost.com, "will automate such hookups between advertisers and bloggers and thus codify a new frontier of product placement," writes Fine. "Advertisers pay to post details about their 'opportunity,' specifying, among other things, how they want bloggers to write about, say, a new shoe, if they want photos to be included, and whether they'll pay only for positive mentions." Murphy does not encourage bloggers to disclose the deal, saying they should "be their own morality police."
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