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How I feel about #Ad posts

How i feel about #ad posts

Dear beauty-addicts,

Today I decided to talk about something which is not often discussed in the beauty blogging community but about which I have something to say, both as a reader, a consumer and a blogger myself. I hope this will stimulate a positive debate and I hope you’ll let me know your opinion in the comments.

So, I’m sure you all know what #ad posts are and you’ve probably seen many over the blogs you follow. What I mean with #ad are posts which feature products (or a service etc.) that a person has been paid to push in their content.

I suppose by law the writers have to disclose this information, which is why you can almost always figure out from the title that is going to be an advertisement in some form. Be it written or in a video.

This is not to be confused with products that have been sent to a blogger without any form of payment and when they have been left to express their opinion on it, whether it is positive or not. This happens for most blogs and I have absolutely nothing against that.

Why they exist

This is easy to understand. Some bloggers or YouTubers have thousands if not millions of followers, which means they have a wide and easily accessible audience. Brands are well aware of this and want to capitalise. These media channels (blogs, twitter, instagram, snapchat) are starting to replace the old formats, such as TV adverts. For some smaller brands, they’re the only means through which their marketing operates. Think about, for example, Oskia and Pixi – they do not appear on TV or on specific adverts in beauty magazines. They mostly operate through word of mouth and appearances on beauty blogs and magazines.

Why brands opt for this method

I believe the cost factor is key. This kind of publicity is far cheaper than adverts – in the printed press or on TV. Most importantly of all, this approach allows the brands to target a specific audience, which is a lot more likely to be interested in the product they are promoting. Of course, the range of people watching TV is far wider than those specifically leafing through make-up and skincare blogs. Furthermore, bloggers are real people who their readers know and in most cases, trust, which makes it a lot easier for bloggers to convince their readers to buy something, or to persuade them that a certain product is amazing and worth the money.

How they affect me

Being a skincare-addict makes me liable to this. I’m sometimes quite easy to convince, because I’m genuinely interested in trying new products or new brands. The difference is that I’m far more likely to have faith in a product if the person pushing it hasn’t been paid to do so. I know most big bloggers will say things like “they only promote things they believe in”, “they only write honest reviews and opinions” and that “they decline a LOT of offers except for the ones they highly believe in”.

However, I find it hard to always believe this. On the one hand, I completely understand that for those who make a living out of their blogs, this is a key source of income. Then again, I personally feel it diminishes my interest. I don’t remember the last time I ended up buying something that was sponsored.

It doesn’t feel right to trust someone who is getting paid for telling me that something is great and will make my skin better. Perhaps I’m being slightly pessimistic, but that is my own personal opinion and you may totally disagree with me, of course we can respect each other’s view point.

I also want to say that I do buy a lot of products after having seem them on Instagram or on blogs, but it’s always been in the firm belief that the person is offering a genuine opinion.

Also do I really want to help a top Youtuber make even more money? When it’s essentially just a business. To tell the truth – not really.

I like being an informed consumer. I read tons of reviews and almost never buy something without having read some comments on it. In this way I find that those reviews sections in most e-commerce websites are very good at giving me a general opinion of a product, especially given that people who leave such short reviews are not bloggers but random people — just like my mother or some of my friends — who do not want to waste money on products which falsely claim to work miracles.

To conclude

I’m totally not against #ad posts as I do get that for most bloggers they are the only way they can make money out of their passion for beauty, make-up or skincare. It’s also a way for them to finance the rest of the work they’re doing. However I just want to share my own opinion on it and say that I am often sceptical about them, especially when they’re sponsoring a skincare brand, a new make-up range. They often just sound like what you’d read on a company’s website or in a TV advert. I also find it very boring to see everyone talking about a new skincare range or product all at the same time and all pretty much saying the same things. Again, it’s my opinion and of course there are exceptions.

To be fair, who doesn’t like it when bloggers are given some discount codes for their readers?  Annoyingly I’ve not yet got to use one, because I always see them when I’m tight for cash!

I should say finally, that I understand that this is part of blogging, as an industry. Obviously, if I want to be a part of it I have to accept what’s going on. I hope it doesn’t sound too aggressive, so please see this from a consumer’s point of view, rather than as a fellow blogger.

I’d like to know your thoughts, feel free to disagree with me, as always!

You can follow me on Bloglovin here.

Silvia

  • Really interesting post Silvia! I think it’s always a bit of a con when a post is sponsored, even if the blogger does really believe in the product etc. It also frustrates me that bloggers hardly ever seem to do sponsored work with drugstore brands – I know this is probably because those brands don’t have the same budget as high end counterparts but it seems like there’s a snobbery amongst bloggers – if it’s cheap you shouldn’t really be using it, which is total rubbish! I just find this style of advertising still really fake and I too have never bought a product I know the blogger has been sponsored to talk about. I’m glad I’m not alone in feeling this way!
    Rebecca | Notes From September
    Xx

    • Hi Rebecca, thank you very much for your comment, I really appreciate it. I’m glad I’m not alone too. I think sometimes the opposite happens, like when bloggers sponsor brands like L’oreal, Eucerin or other drugstore brands that we all know they have never used before. xx have a great day!

  • I completely agree with you! I know that sponsored posts and collaborations are the way of learning money from blogging and I’m ok with that! But I do get annoyed a bit when big bloggers rave about most luxurious skincare or makeup products but didn’t spend a penny on them. If I get interested in a specific product I look for reviews on it from other people so I can have a better picture of it. To be honest I’ve lost my interest in big bloggers because they don’t feel relatable anymore. I don’t say they lie or aren’t honest but being paid for everything make them sound like ads in magazine and that’s not what I look for in blogs. Having said that there are bloggers with big numbers which I still trust because I know they’re knowledgeable on the subject and they’re the ones that if they don’t like something they say it.

    But again, if you’re paid to advertise the product you can’t really say it’s bad, can you? x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

    • Hi Dagmara, thanks a lot for reading. I think the same, big bloggers have become something like beauty magazines, they receive tons of new releases from brands, they don’t even have much time to test them and they make a video straight away. You know Sali Hughes, the beauty editor? Well she often says that receiving a product for free is the only way to be imparcial when judging it. She obviously is free to say whether something is good or not (I mean that I don’t think she gets paid to feauture a product on her column on the Guardian), but I’m not totally sure that what she claims is true. I feel like paying for something gives you a better perspective when judging a product. And no, you can’t say something bad when you’re getting paid, that’s natural.

      Have a lovely Sunday! xx

  • I know a few brands whose companies strictly have a clause in their contracts that say you cannot voice any negative feedback other wise you aren’t liable for payment. I had a few come on my plate, yet I refuse to work with them.
    I prefer the to voice my opinion in full. I will not dilute my thoughts for a paycheck.

    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

    • Hi Angie, welcome to my blog, thanks for reading. Of course they wouldn’t say anything negative, if they are getting paid that’s quite natural. That’s why I don’t trust these kind of posts/videos, I know they are just trying to sell me something and nobody will ever tell me that what they’re selling is not good. At the same time these sponsored things are one of the few ways of income for professional bloggers…so I don’t want to simply blame them for doing it… not an easy topic to be honest. xx

  • I get put off if bloggers/youtubers post ad after ad after ad, but at the same time, I appreciate knowing when something is an ad and I have noticed some youtubers still don’t put ad in the video title, then I’ll watch and it is obvious it is an ad. I prefer the honesty of it but it can become boring & I feel it shows a lack of passion if they only post ads. It’s a tricky one because I understand that samples don’t pay bills so they take on sponsored posts/videos. The worst is when you see posts raving about a product & weeks later it’s for sale on their depop described as being swatched once – why did they say it was amazing if they haven’t even used it?!! xx

    Beautylymin| Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Giveaway

    • Thank you for your comment, I agree with you that it’s always better to know when something is an #Ad so you can decide if you want to see the video or not or read the post or not. I think that for bloggers who receive tons of skincare and makeup items is impossible to be totally honest, I mean, I don’t think is possible to understand how something works in just a couple of days. Think about serums, they probably take around 4/6 weeks to start making a difference, still…most bloggers don’t even have time to wait that much before posting a review! Do you agree? xx
      Silvia

      • I think for skincare, they should wait at least 3/4 weeks before reviewing unless they specifically say that this is an initial impression! xx