I started writing The Weekly Notes but I started talking about this subject and realised that it was actually going to be kind of beefy so I decided to scrap my weekly round up and make it it’s very own post. I would love to hear your thoughts in the below comments!
I’ve been blogging for a long time and one of the aspects that’s always had a bit of controversy is gifted items. For those of you who aren’t aware bloggers who have a following appeal to brands because in todays media it is a really great advertising opportunity. Often brands, or PR for the brands, will get in touch and ask if a blogger would like to try something in hope that the blogger will love it and share it.
As a blogger…
First I’ll touch on my feelings about press samples as a blogger. When I first started, and up until the past few months, I never saw press samples as something that needed an * next to it if it had been gifted to me. Why? I felt (and still do feel) that that particular product is an object and I remain subjective no matter if I’ve paid for it or not. If it’s a shit product I either don’t feature it OR sometimes it doesn’t work for my particular skin type and I say that in the review. For me, it has never hindered my review so I never felt the need to mark it in the blog post instead I’ve always got a disclaimer at the bottom of my posts.
That was up until I started doing fashion content and I felt that I never wanted people to see another different outfit and feel like they weren’t shopping enough or keeping up enough. For clothing I felt different because it’s tangible. People see that shit. I had an instance that really changed my opinion on marking when things are gifted. It was when someone asked how I could afford a Zimmermann Jumpsuit (although I don’t think that’s a particularly polite thing to ask) and I instantly felt awful because the particular photo was taken during a week I was doing something shots (unpaid) for my friends boutique. The item was borrowed (however I did end up owning the jumpsuit later on for my hens) so from then on I decided to mark what was borrowed or gifted clearly in each post and that has carried over to all content now. If it’s not important to the review it doesn’t hurt being there, right? And with clothing it’s different again. I only pick and accept styles I absolutely LOVE and would buy with my own money. It’s my personal style so like hell I would ever wear a floral midi dress that is strapless…. You get me.
I love press samples. I’m not ashamed to admit that. Why? Because I’m a broke ass bitch with a bucket of debt that I need to pay off. I can’t afford to buy new things all the time just to make content. Not that I believe you need new things to make kick-ass content but alot of what I do is trend-based content and product reviews of new things on the market. Press samples mean I’m able to continue making content. It’s plain and it’s simple. Without the relationships that I have with brands I would probably only be able to churn out 1 post a week.
I also wanted to note that when you accept samples there is a degree of responsibility that comes with it. You need to trial the product appropriately and decide whether it fits into your schedule then potentially shoot, edit and review it. Despite not having a contract or being paid, of course there is no real obligation, there IS a sense of responsibility and work that comes with every single ‘free’ thing you accept. Alot of people think it’s glamorous but it is fucking hard work.
As a consumer….
Another huge reason I know meticulously mark everything that has been gifted to me is because as a consumer I often wonder about what has been gifted or sponsored. Some bloggers I really trust (I hope you guys trust me ep) so regardless of if it is sponsored, gifted or not I’d buy the product based on their recommendations but it’s just a fact I like to take into consideration. If the particular person hasn’t disclosed it I’m often left wandering about the simple fact. I am completely and utterly nosey.
It’s also just for piece of mind. As I said before I never want people to look at me a feel shitty about themselves like they’re not shopping enough or anything of the sorts. I want people to come here and feel good because when I look at other blogs sometimes I do feel shit because I can’t afford 10 million designer bags. When people aren’t disclosing that they’ve got that half price or the brand has allowed them to borrow a bag for 6 months it can leave me feeling like I’m not good enough (brutally honest). In the world of social media we are all comparing ourselves constantly so it’s refreshing to see when bloggers are like HEY DIDN’T PAY FOR THIS. I never see that as less – in fact I respect the blogger MORE as a viewer/reader because they’ve had the balls to be completely transparent.
I’ve now stopped following a few blogs that I find too fantasy and unattainable not because I’m bitter but because the lines are too blurred. As a reader I just cannot get past the feeling crap when scrolling through all their pictures of amazingness with no disclosures about gifted items.
What I’m wearing: IDS Dotty Shirt Dress (size 8, gifted) | Boohoo Flared Sleeve Jumper (size S/M) | Lack Of Colour Grey Fedora | Elroy Harper Sunglasses (available in black) | Top End O’Neil Boots (gifted) | Sportsgirl Bag (not current) | Scholl Light Legs Compression Tights (gifted)
What are your thoughts?
*products in this post may have been provided for editorial consideration. For more information please view our disclaimer.
I’m a retail manager by day and a blogger by night aiming to bring you the newest beauty, fashion and lifestyle news. More Than Adored was created to help beauty lovers, like myself, make informed decisions when it comes to buying new goodies.