Paid posts: Welcome to the 21st-century world of wine blogging

paid posts

Who cares if the wine tastes like vanilla cherry cough syrup? We’re being paid to say nice things about it. Stop acting so 20th century.”

Who cares about integrity or honesty or legitimate reviews? I’ll just run paid posts

The following email, asking me to run paid posts for a wine club, shows just how little the wine business cares about the people who buy its products. I’ve changed the name of the wine club (which is reasonably well known) so I don’t get sued; otherwise, it’s verbatim:

Hey Wine Curmudgeon Team,

Big Time Wine Club wants to create some new partnerships with influencers. Our wine club works with acclaimed wineries and vineyards to curate a portfolio of highly rated wines from all over the globe, and then bring those wines to lovers of great wine across the US. You have great blog posts, and I want to find out if we can work with you to create new content around a few of our featured wines. We have some ideas on potential Spring themes, but we are more than happy to talk with you on your ideas for incorporating wine!

We have wine available to send, some paid placement budget, and an affiliate program. I’d love to get your thoughts on the best way for us to work together. Are you available to talk wine this week or next?

The jargon is annoying enough, but what’s worse is asking me to pimp for their products — “create new content around a few of our featured wines.”  The only thing in the email that’s fair to consumers is the affiliate program, in which I’d get a tiny, tiny commission if anyone bought one of the wines I pimped for. The rest is an insult to me and to everything the blog stands for. As well as to you.

But hey, why not? It’s the 21st century. Facebook sells our personal information to dirty trickstersGoogle censors the Internet for the Chinese . The world’s biggest beer company owns a leading beer review site. So why shouldn’t I take the wine club’s money? It’s all about the cash, right? Integrity? Honesty? Principles? That’s just crap for cranky ex-newspaperman, who still think they’re supposed to write for their readers. That’s just so quaint, isn’t it?

Needless to say, I sent a polite email declining their offer. But how many of my colleagues didn’t?

6 thoughts on “Paid posts: Welcome to the 21st-century world of wine blogging

  • By Diane - Reply

    If I read a blog plugging ANY wine club, I would be beyond skeptical.

  • By Linda Lee - Reply

    Thank you for this expose of these wine marketers! I love that you called them out although not by real name. I definitely do much more research on what kinds of wines I buy these days in order to not buy corporate owned wineries or buying into wines created by marketing committee. This is just another example of how things get tainted by conflict of interest. The biggest dismaying news for me recently was learning that a major wine publication is now owned by a wine corporation. But oh well I didn’t care for a lot of what they promoted anyways. Enjoying your posts.

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      I didn’t necessarily want to “redact” the wine club, Linda. I don’t have the resources to fight them if they took exception.

  • By Jim Ruxin - Reply

    Why should wine writing be immune to manipulation by commercial forces when the rest of the world is thoroughly corrupted. And the especially includes our government.

    Morality is now longer demonstrated by institutions or those in power. It is up to us to live moral and ethical lives…especially when no one is looking. Do the right thing because it needs to be done.

    All we can do is live by example. Eventually the arc of history will bend towards justice.

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      Well said, Jim. Thank you.

  • Pingback: Liquor Industry News/Links 02-18-19 | Franklin Liquors

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