Style blogs and freebies

(362 Posts)
FallonColby Thu 27-Mar-14 09:47:23

Is it just me or does anyone else get annoyed with the amount of freebies style bloggers get. For example, one blogger was berating the fact she had nothing to wear to an event, unsurprisingly she was then contacted by a company who gifted her a dress. I am sure this was not the bloggers intention but I am annoyed at seeing blogs I have previously enjoyed turn into a constant advert. It just takes the reality out of it.

StyleOverSubstance Thu 27-Mar-14 10:30:31

Suppose that is the nature of it - if blogger is making a career out of the blogging, as the number of people who follow the blog increase they are allowed to advertise/get sponsorship. Unfortunately with some, this just skews what would have been a good blog because they are then obliged to do the 'product placement' to satisfy the sponsor, which means they don't always stay true to the original style that attracted the followers in the first place. Its a kind of subtle or not so subtle form of advertising I guess that has become more common since everyone uses computers, bit like 'liking' on facebook.

CambridgeBlue Thu 27-Mar-14 13:34:38

Completely annoys me too! Quite often I'll admire something that one of them is wearing and it will turn out to have been a freebie that's way out of my budget - sorry but I don't spend £75 on jeans or 3 figures on boots. On the other hand if you can afford to run a blog as your main job I guess your budget is a bit different to mine!

It does skew your perception of their writing though, especially those blogs which claim to be aimed at your average woman but buy (or are given) new clothes on a much more regular basis than most people can afford.

FallonColby Thu 27-Mar-14 13:40:43

Maybe I have been naive, I just feel that as a reader I am used as part of a target audience to sell something on. It is not realistic for me to wear 365 different outfits a year and I also fear that cheap clothes from Primark are being bought just for the sake of having something to blog about.

McNally Thu 27-Mar-14 18:02:52

I agree. I fell in love with an expensive jumper last year made by a smallish company. I then saw that the company had been sending out loads of freebies to bloggers (and I suspect more got them but didn't disclose they were freebies). I'm sure it is the absolute tip of the iceberg in terms of marketing spend but I was so irritated I didn't buy the jumper. I didn't want to subsidise the freebies. Some bloggers are very upfront about when they got things for free, but it still makes me think that future comments on the brand will be influenced by the previous generosity. I have lost respect for certain blogs I previously liked because I strongly suspect that freebies aren't disclosed.

dexter73 Thu 27-Mar-14 18:08:04

I take it you are talking about the schoolgatestyle blog. I totally agree - lots of the posts are about things that have been gifted and there is even a link on the blog now called 'work with me' which basically means 'give me clothes' Quite disappointing.

FallonColby Thu 27-Mar-14 19:38:22

Yes Dexter73 I am, I used to enjoy the blog in the beginning as it was very realistic with normal, everyday clothes and a very natural snap taken, however it now seems like one long endless advert and more contrived. The £2.99 scarf top from H&M really disappointed me as it was worn once and then put up for sale a few months later. I have a real bug bear about clothes being seen as cheap and disposable. I don't have loads of clothes but I do try to buy good quality and less fashionable items as they last longer in terms of wear and style.

I have a blog, but I am always up front about what is given to me. I also only accept and blog about items I genuinely like and will wear.

As for the value of the items, well, I spend a small fortune on my wardrobe anyway, so nothing I have been given is out of step with the things I buy anyway. I have been given premium denim, for example, but I have loads of pairs I've pair for myself.

Buy for myself, sigh.

dexter73 Thu 27-Mar-14 20:45:59

It's not that you get freebies, it's just that on that particular blog there are so many posts about them.

I think it's trickier when you're genuinely trying to make a living from your blog - I dip in and out of mine, because I have a boring real world corporate job that demands my attention a lot, but were I seeking to monetize my blog I suppose advertising/product placement would be the way to start. I do agree it needs to be done organically though - there are a couple of blogs I follow who have done the odd sponsored thing where I'm going 'WTF?' - what I bought today was recently plugging Nicole Scherzinger's tea mot collection, which I didn't think was really her style, so it was a bit jarring.

Trampy, not tea mot. That really would be strange.

EldonAve Thu 27-Mar-14 21:10:15

I think it's fine if they are up front and say they got a freebie
But there is lots of "they sent me X to try" etc

CambridgeBlue Thu 27-Mar-14 22:02:38

A lot of them also annoy me because they buy so much new stuff. It's easy to look stylish with an unlimited budget (and stacks of freebies.) I much prefer the blogs where people show new ways of working what they've already got with just the odd purchase, that's much more the way most of us have to do it.

But then I'm not convinced many of the bloggers actually care what their readers think as long as they can buy or be given loads of new stuff and spend all day taking selfies while the rest of us are doing some proper work.<bitter but still reads them >

FallonColby Thu 27-Mar-14 22:25:28

Cambridgeblue, laughing at your "bitter but still reads them" comment, that's me too, though I guess it can't last forever - surely there gets a point when they will get bored with blogging.

CambridgeBlue Thu 27-Mar-14 22:29:44

I'm definitely getting bored with reading a few of them smile

LittleG69 Thu 27-Mar-14 22:36:16

Last year several blogs including schoolgatestyle and does my bum look 40 featured boots from Seven Boot Lane which retail at around £150. Clearly freebies. They then offered a paltry 10% discount code through those blogs. I must admit it put me off those blogs. Seems to be happening more and more

FallonColby Thu 27-Mar-14 22:48:35

I have just read on the Schoolgatestyle blog policies that all comments must be honest and positive and that negative ones will be deleted, I had always wondered why the comments there were so one sided.

StyleOverSubstance Fri 28-Mar-14 00:40:44

I was told that a lot of the bloggers 'wardrobe' items - they buy them and don't remove the labels, do the daily photo and then return the items back to the store.

Agree with Cambridge's comment about it being nice to see how Bloggers rework items they already have and it is more realistic for the majority of women's wardrobes unless they have an unlimited clothes budget. But again, comes down to whether they are doing it to earn a living or doing it as a hobby and it must be tricky getting a balance between posting enough to keep peoples interest with items you have and showing new fashions or styles and being slightly ahead of a trend.

Still like AllWornOut as they get the best of all worlds by having a couple of contributors, so often if they have the same piece, you will see it styled in different ways. There is no annoying product placement or advertisements and they seem to have stayed true to their own styles. Amber's is a good one too as it has work wear and casual. But agree that Schoolgate and DMBL40 are not what they were and have changed over time, but I think both bloggers earn a living from it too, so it has to have some commercial benefit for them.

I think a lot of the manufacturers/retailers have realised that blogs are an extremely cost effective way for them to market their products and are exploiting it to the maximum as have noticed the Seven Boot Lane placements, Boden and Stella and Dot to name but a few in some of the more popular blogs mentioned on MN. Had also noted that some of the bloggers are wearing skirts/dresses in the photos when you know that they normally favour skinny jeans or trousers of some sort, so am instantly alerted to the fact it is probably a sponsored/gifted item.

Ardiente Fri 28-Mar-14 03:35:58

It would be good practise if the bloggers disclosed freebies, however I wouldnt enjoy some of these blogs if there wasnt much variety or trend following. These can only be achieved if the bloggers have an unlimited budget or receive freebies. They in turn give me styling ideas as well as saving me time trawling through countless shops. I agree their impartiality may be compromised but if their ideas are good, Why not? If not, I just click away :-)

scarlet76 Fri 28-Mar-14 06:48:18

Agree with much of what has been said. I enjoy reading these blogs less now as they seem to be more about advertising and less about style. One blogger said brogues were not for her but a few months later was gushing about a pair. Now we can all be fickle of course, and change our mind about things, but the fact they were a freebie made me feel that was the only reason there was a post about them.
I am on a tight budget this year and so am sticking to buying only a couple of mid high street pieces each month. I'd love to see bloggers wearing the same items more often but maybe giving ideas about how to style them in different ways. Throw away fashion and the associated waste is something I've become much more aware of since trying to spend less.
I appreciate some bloggers are trying to make a living out of this and therefore advertising is necessary.

Floisme Fri 28-Mar-14 07:07:30

There was a discussion on another thread recently about how Vogue is now completely under the thumb of its advertisers and has got more and more bland and dull as a result. It sounds as if fashion blogs are going the same way, which is a shame because at first they looked like a genuinely exciting alternative to magasines. And of course it's self defeating because, once the readers switch off, so will the advertisers.

GeorginaWorsley Fri 28-Mar-14 07:30:01

I love blogs,especially the ones aimed at 40 plus women!
DMBL40 is still my favourite,whilst she buys alot she does re work stuff too
I've noticed school Gate is very 'product' placed now,as its become more successful there is more and more advertising ,often for smaller Northern Irish shops and services.
I like Avril though and have bought great scarves from her shop!
The Online Stylist one is very slick and less 'what I wore today' now too.

JimmyCorkhill Fri 28-Mar-14 08:04:28

My favourite blog is Putting Me Together which is all about wearing what you've got in different ways. Wish there was a UK equivalent.

On a side note - is there a blog where the blogger is pear shaped/has chunky legs?

Jimmy, I'll hold my hand up as a chunky legged blogger!

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