Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Excuse me while I snicker

Earlier this year, when the NY Times went straight for the Pulitzer by revealing that beauty bloggers sometimes get free samples, there were people who questioned our ability to review products in an objective manner (despite all the evidence to the contrary, in this blog and many others).

A big part of why that article felt so insulting was the underlying accusation that bloggers have no ethics, unlike print media that has strict rules, and therefore is more objective. When I say it was insulting, I mean insulting to readers' intelligence, because (just like many of my commenters noted), one look at the traditional media is enough to confirm its obligation and dependence on advertisers.

That's why I couldn't help myself from feeling a smidge of schadenfreude when reading Natasha Singer's much braver article over the weekend. This quote says it all:

“Boy, they really sold out — Hearst — didn’t they?” said Allan Mottus, a beauty industry analyst who publishes the Informationist, a trade publication. Mr. Mottus added: “You have to take your hat off to Lauder. It is an enormous coup.”


  1. From the article:

    "The current issue of Bazaar contains no Lauder advertisements"

    Duh, the whole thing is an advertorial for Lauder. The LA Times had a publisher resign over something similar, but Bazaar isn't a newspaper. sooo.

    I now wish to be flown to Paris to review the new Serges please...

  2. Yes ma'am! Thought of you when I read that article earlier; glad to see you posting on it. xo

  3. Indeed, I fully agree with you!

  4. We discussed this last Saturday: I used to work in a women's magazine that was begging for advertisers. We got them, but by playing nice, i.e., giving them editorial space. Even if you're a big, prestigious, powerful magazine like Bazaar, not only do you need advertisers, but the press group you belong to, with smaller magazines, needs them as well: it's a package deal.
    The reason why people read blogs is that everybody is pretty much aware, by now, that beauty editors are basically writing advertorials -- and this, despite many of them being knowledgeable about their field.

  5. What company paid for your Paris trip?

  6. Tom- Apparently, someone here thinks I was flown to Paris (to review what, I'm not sure).

    I'm close to giving up on these magazines. The ads are pretty, but they are pretty expensive for a kitty shredding toy.

  7. Roxy- I just had to comment on the article. We've been saying it for ages, and now the Times is finally on board.

  8. D- I'm really sad that the magazines have lost their magic (and readership). And, after all, copywriter and ad executives make more money.

  9. Anon- Once again, like I said in my other reply to you, I'm flattered to be considered important enough for such an honor. However, my Paris trip was a private vacation.


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