Mommy Blogger Blackmails Crocs Marketer; FTC Poised to Step In

Last Updated Jul 31, 2009 4:30 PM EDT

Mommy bloggers are evil blackmailers who need to be stopped -- by the FTC! That is the conclusion of an entertaining piece in Forbes riffing off the news that the FTC is considering regulating blogs for sponsorship or other paid interests, just like regular advertisers.

The item also recounts the tale of George Smith, a social media specialist for Crocs, the clunky, hole-y shoes that are more polarizing than Prof. Henry Louis Gates.

Smith attended the Blogher summit where, he says, he was the subject of a blackmail attempt by a mommy blogger who wanted a free pair of Crocs. Smith had been giving them away to bloggers earlier in the conference but not everyone got a pair. So the woman said:
"Ya know, if you don't give me shoes â€" I could totally write something bad about you on my blog."

"Excuse me?" I asked â€" hoping she would laugh or give me some indication that she was just joking around. Nope ...

"It's just a pair of shoes. It's a lot easier to give them to me than deal with the negative press I could make."

After hearing that, I start to laugh.

"I could pick up my phone here and get in contact with so many people and tell them what just happened that you would be afraid to go near your computer, let alone attempt to blog again."
BNET was the first of any media to report the FTC's review, back in November 2008. The Blogher blackmail attempt has kinda caught fire on the web. PaidContent is now calling mommy bloggers "The Devil." A thought: Welcome to the real world, mothers who write blogs! You guys had it easy until now. Getting J&J to pull a Motrin ad that suggested -- in the nicest possible terms! -- that some of you were a little too trendy for your own good lulled you into a false sense of your own power. And now the FTC, along with non-mommy bloggers like Smith, are going to be scrutinizing y'all a bit more closely. Feel free to overeact, moms, as overreaction seems to be your M.O.

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