Recently, local advertisers in Malaysia through the middleman ads company require bloggers like me to disclose our local advertorials.
I have written many advertorials without a disclosure and most times, my blog readers do not know it is a paid post. I did not deceive them but did not exactly openly declared that I get certain services and products for free and my post is a paid post.
In US, it is against the law not to disclose a sponsored post. Over here, I believe there is now such law implemented for local ads. Therefore, I wonder what other Malaysian bloggers think of disclosing a paid post?
I feel it is not exactly necessary to openly say ‘This is a paid post’ if I personally know the products well and have used it. Otherwise, I would study it well, weigh the pros and cons, state them in my blog post and do not see why I need to tell.
For example, I once wrote a very tough subject about hybrid cars. I know nothing about hybrid cars but my son does. So, I paid him a portion of my income and get him to read, study, research and explain to me. Then, I personally wrote the post. Whether it was paid or not, at least I learn a new thing and my blog readers benefited from reading about it.
At other times, I get free hair removal services, free slimming courses and etc and whatever I shared in the blog post are my real experiences. I do not see why I need to tell my blog readers that I get those expensive services for free too. The most is they think I am that frivolous to get hair removal. The worst is they think I am being a boastful blogger who uses free services without disclosing. Other than that, I did not add any fake testimonials or give any false information.
So, what do you think? Is it necessary to disclose our paid advertorials locally eventhough we are not required to? I will have to do that from now on but I will put it subtly because I think a straightforward disclosure will denied our advertisers who are paying us good money a proper evaluation. Many blog readers have that mentality that if a post is paid, we are crapping lies.
Then again, as bloggers we need to be truthful and not do hard selling on our advertisers behalf, giving empty promises and such. It works both way. Local advertisers have to choose carefully which bloggers are selected to review and local bloggers have to write professionally so as not to spoil the image of the brandnames.
What’s your point of view?
julian(December 19, 2009 - 3:11 pm)
Personally, I think that a simple disclosure helps the readers to decide how to interpret what the blogger says.
I asked the question in a survey of Malaysian bloggers in April 2009 – you can see a summary of their answers here: http://julianhopkins.net/index.php?/archives/268-Do-Malaysian-bloggers-think-that-blog-advertorials-need-to-be-disclosed.html