Toronto Mike

If I Make You Cringe, This Is For You


I just got a great comment from Ryan.  I have a brother named Ryan, so for my mom, let me clarify that this is a different Ryan.  Non-brother Ryan had this to say about the product AXE sent me the other day.

Hi Mike,
i'm seeing a trend with these types of entries. These are essentially product placements, where companies send you stuff and you write about them.  That's your prerogative and is a win win for you and the company i take it, but i'm curious if you have ever, or will ever, write anything negative about product you receive?  (assuming you feel negatively about the product that is)
I love reading your blog, but when i see these types of posts i cringe just a little bit. It's just my opinion.  When i see obvious product placements in a movie, i like that movie just a tiny bit less.
Anyway, i believe you work in marketing so i get it. I too have a background in marketing and work in media and promotions, so i get it.
Do you get these various products sent to you because of this blog (and the companies are aware of your traffic stats)or is it from the other marketing work you do?
Please don't get me wrong. I'm not judging. Just curious, and expressing my opinion.

I liked Ryan's comment so much, I've decided to answer it here where it will get more eyeballs.  It's actually a subject I've given a great deal of thought.

If a company gives me product, I'll blog that they gave me product.  That's the product placement that's irking Ryan.  This is why Ford puts me in a car for a week every summer and why Canadian Tire gives me a tent to camp in.  They want to be blogged about, and they know if they give me stuff I'll blog about it.

What they can't buy, however, is a positive review.  Disney sent me to see Bolt in 3D and I trashed it on this site.  I don't sell positive reviews.

Furthermore, I wouldn't review a product or mention a product on this site without disclosing that the company gave it to me.  For example, you won't find a "I'm loving the new AXE shampoo" entry unless I explicitly wrote that AXE sent me the product.

I understand it's a slippery slope and I don't want this to be that kind of site, but if this hobby of mine wants to score me some free shit now and then, I'm okay with it so long as I follow my rules above.

I promise, however, to try and minimize the cringe factor as best I can.  I already turn down the vast majority of offers I get because I can't envision myself using the product or I don't deem the offer or service placement-worthy.  But if The Tragically Hip wants to put me in the front row and give me backstage passes so I can write about their tour, I'll likely accept the offer.

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About Toronto Mike
I own TMDS and host Toronto MIke'd. Become a Patron.