I’m a jerk
Yep. I’m a jerk. Oh and a bully, and I think I’m a better mother than you. And I proved I’m a jerk because I had the audacity to use a CURSE word in my comment on that post. I CURSED. Are you blushing? I’m a jerk. Apparently.
I’m a jerk. If by jerk you mean someone who questions the motives and methods of a mega corporation, well-known for its toxicity, who enticed Canadian mom bloggers to be brand ambassadors in a year long program with the promise of events and product samples, but not financial compensation.
When did the rules change? No one told me. Was I not supposed to use twitter to question a large corporation/brand? Is twitter just a delusional, happy place? Are we not allowed to talk out loud about the business of blogging, about how brands and bloggers intersect and don’t? Seriously, someone send me the memo where this change is outlined.
If by jerk you mean someone who uses that brand’s hashtag to question their methods, as I just outlined, and inform the bloggers involved about some of the seriously harmful ingredients in their cleaning and personal beauty products, in case they didn’t already know.
It’s been said that “we should have used a different hashtag”. Why? Twitter is a public forum and the hashtag serves a purpose of organizing all the different tweets discussing the same topic. Are hashtags now only allowed to include positive tweets? We’re not allowed to use them to have critical discourse? We’re not allowed to use to hashtags to alert a company that we have real questions about both their products and PR strategy? Where the hell is my memo? I’m missing all these rule changes.
Procter and Gamble’s poor environmental record is not exactly a secret. If you know me, you’ll know that I’m barely crunchy, and I will never ever bring Febreeze into this house. Swiffer cloths are a winning combination of toxic cleaning ingredients and increased waste. I could probably go through my home right now and find a couple of Procter and Gamble products. Does this mean I want to be their brand ambassador and associate my name and my online space with their brand and their products? You couldn’t pay me enough. But to each their own.
I’m a jerk because I was astounded by the invite from this huge company to bloggers that involved no monetary compensation, and I expressed this viewpoint. I too work with brands, big and small. I make a very conscious decision, aware of my place in the mompaganda, when I am presented with an opportunity – is this a good fit for my blog/narrative? Is the compensation appropriate for the ask? Am I comfortable working with this brand/company, and representing them?
In this case, we’re not talking about a friendly Canadian brand or charity with a small or non-existent advertising/PR budget, making connections with mom bloggers or hosting an event. We are talking about a multi-billion dollar multinational, who already has a lion’s share of the product categories it markets, not just hosting an event, but launching a long-term ambassadorship program. If you agreed to be their brand ambassador under the terms that Rebecca quoted in her post, then yes, I am questioning your decision. We’ve had this conversation for years: don’t work for free. You’re selling us all short. If you negotiated a different agreement because you want to be an ambassador, good for you. I am not being sarcastic. Good for you. I hope that all the bloggers involved are connecting so that compensation is fair and appropriate, if you are continuing the relationship. And, like, tell us if we’re wrong and you’re not working for them for free. ‘Cause that’d be good to know.
Do you know what a brand ambassador is? Do you already have long-term relationships with brands on your blog or in other forums? I think I have a pretty good understanding. And when I make a decision to work with a brand on a long- or even short-term basis, I am also conscious that I might be questioned as to why I am working with a particular company, or that a reader might have a question for them. Concerned about environmental impact or labour practices of a particular company I’ve mentioned? You can always ask me anything, publicly, about this. But I’m a jerk if I ask you. Okay. Sure.
You blog about what you want. You can attend what events you want. You can work with whatever brands you want. (Please show me, actually, where you were told otherwise, because I can’t see it on twitter or anywhere.) But if I express my own view points in these spaces, I’m a jerk? So you can tell me what I can and can’t tweet or blog about? Is that hypocrisy I smell in the air?
To resort to name calling because a number of us in the same sphere have a different viewpoint on a serious topic, or have some questions for the corporation? Really? This is an adult, business-oriented conversation and you just threw mud at me. And I can stand here and mumble about ‘critical thinking’ and ‘fairly evil corporations’ and ‘blogging with integrity’ but I don’t think you’re listening to me when I’m covered in mud. I’ve been branded a jerk, and a whole lot of you agree with that assessment, and think name calling is okay, and I’m really very surprised. I’m trying hard not to turn into a 5-year-old and call you some choice names back again. How did this get so emotional?
(For a much less emotional response than mine, read Annie’s excellent post. And just try not to get Carly Simon stuck in your head. It’s impossible.)
So, let me know if you ever decide to stop throwing mud at me so we can have a grown-up conversation (I really need to wash these clothes now, but you can bet I won’t be using the bloody Tide to get the stains out).
You know where to reach me. If it helps, we can use the hashtag #jerk.
Posted: November 11th 2012 under bad things, thinking too much.
Tags: blogging, blogging and brands, brand ambassador, business of blogging, mom bloggers, mommy bloggers, pgmom, procter and gamble, working for free