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Blackmailed by a Blogger

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What to do with Bad Reviews and Blogger Blackmail?

No such thing as bad publicity, right? Just when I thought the "private gay club" rumour was the most bizarre thing I've heard about us till date I come across "Blogger Blackmail", and it's so much more bizarre!

A while ago a not-very-well-known blogger emailed us a few times asking for free macaron and marshmallow samples in return for posting a positive review similar to others on her site. Now I am a little ashamed to admit this, I caved - NOT because my motivations were to "buy" positive reviews by chucking free stuff at anyone and their nan with a blog, but far worse...I did it for Google, ie: the backlink, which would help improve our SEO rankings.

Dilbert Search Rankings Ritual Sacrifice

However, despite my motivations behind caving I am always up for bloggers getting to know our brand so I agreed for wrapyourlipsaroundthis.com to pop into the shop during our super fun floral crown pop-up with Crown & Glory, to photograph and have a few treats. We prepared a cute little treat bag including a s'more, a marshmallow and a macaron for her. She did come with a friend and introduced herself to our shop team who were just about to grab her little stash and offer her some drinks when she asks for 3 large boxes of Muffles, Marshmallows and Macarons, plus two drinks. That's almost £100 worth of stuff!

Birthday Cakes London

My face when asked to give away A LOT of hard work for free

As it's a lot more than we would deem appropriate to give out for free for review (especially considering how insignificant this particular blog is), our staff then informed her of prices. The blogger seemed shocked that she wasn't getting all of that stuff for free, a real cringe OMG-don't-you-know-who-I-am moment, and told our staff that that was not the context of the email and regardless of whether she bought anything or not she would be reviewing the shop, further insinuating that if we didn't hand over all that stuff she'd be giving us bad reviews. #BloggerBlackmail is real people. Despite her threats our team was friendly and professional the whole time which is commendable as if I had been there I don't think I'd find the composure! She left empty-handed, only to come back half an hour later to buy 1 macaron and 1 marshmallow and once I was told of this I sensed the attack that was coming. Now that she had paid for it, her "negative" review must be "legit". #ModernDayBloggerBandit

Wedding cake london
Not sure what's more WOW - the macaron wedding cake or the blackmailing blogger?!

 

She held up her threats to review negatively by going on a social media rant and posting unflattering chewed up photos of our products and claiming the macarons were inferior and hollow, the marshmallows were not fresh, our staff's service was bad and that our macaron chiller unit was empty and sad looking.

Blackmailing blogger

I of course disagree with all of her nonsense EXCEPT for the last point - indeed, our macaron chiller unit is empty and sad looking...because we had a ridiculously awesome and busy weekend during the Crown & Glory pop-up where we sold-out of almost everything, quicker than we could bake and replace! In fact, the whole shop is empty-looking and we're going to have to work even harder to re-stock and fulfill all our orders this week!

Pop up shop london

The ridiculousness of this all is that I wish I had the gall to go to restaurants and cafes demanding free stuff otherwise I'll be reviewing them badly. Somehow I think if I pulled that stunt at the Ritz I'd probably be arrested for blackmail, extortion, and/or libel. Bl00dy 'ell, forget Ritz, even Maccie D's would have me thrown out! 

Blackmailing trolling blogger aside, if you are also a blogger reading this please don't feel like you can't approach us! We still believe in the value bloggers have for businesses, especially small independent businesses like ours. In fact, I have some awesome working relationships (and in some cases, now friendships!) with prolific bloggers such as Rock n Roll Bride, The Awkward Blog, Rock My Style and Bloved to name just a few (all awesome blogs btw so give them a follow on Instagram too!). Whether the blogger blogs as a job or as a hobby, almost every single blogger I have had any experience with has been nice, lovely, and more importantly - integrous. We give them stuff; they may or may not write about it; if they like they link; if they don't we blink...and both parties move on. We all know free stuff tastes the best - it's FREE! So while some may think that these glowing reviews are in a way "paid for" by providing something free, most bloggers have the integrity to NOT post if they really thought something was not to their taste. You know what they say, "If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all".

Birthday Cakes London

Perhaps wrapyourlipsaroundthis wants to make an example of us by showing other businesses how bad her reviews can be if they don't cave to her demands, perhaps her ego is a bit bruised, perhaps she's just eating and drinking her way through life for free. I wish her luck with her blackmail-blog-that-almost-sounds-like-a-porn-site and will be taking our followers' advice of having a great evening ahead of me going through our countless good reviews to flush out the negativity! Thank you so much to our lovely and loyal customers - you guys are awesome and the whole reason why we keep doing what we're doing! We love your genuine and legitimate feedback!

Lots of blog-love,

Reshmi xoxo

If your are looking for some awesome Birthday Cakes, check out the collection here. 

 


100 Responses

genrixsDup
genrixsDup

03 April, 2019

❤️
Greetings. You have a great site. And good business. Congratulations on the new year of the kangaroo on the Asian calendar. Successes and prosperity!

LebrikovDup
LebrikovDup

10 March, 2019

☀️
You ḥavе a gṛеaṭ bսsinеsṣ! Coṇ̣̱ꬶṛaṭulaṭiоṇṣ! Ỵou are ̣̣̱ꬶṛеat!
Do not forget that business is a huge responsibility.
But the question continues to torment me: “What is business from a practical point of view?

VincentDaync
VincentDaync

16 March, 2018

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Edwardzep

08 February, 2018

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Kevin's Travel Diary
Kevin's Travel Diary

07 December, 2017

Wow, shocking and as a blogger this is quite upsetting. Shame on her! It is blogs like hers that could give legitimate blogs a bad name.

I have read both sides of the story as I was researching the net and quite frankly I’m annoyed at her review.

I’m glad of the way you have responded to this bad excuse of a blogger. I grab a free cream tea here and there and if it is not to my liking I simply go back to my point of contact and give my advise and opinion. I then let them re-address the issue I thought and return at a later date (paid by me) just so I can give a good review.

I’m glad to hear that blog hasn’t put you off blogs and you’re still moving forward!.

Kristin
Kristin

23 September, 2017

Wow. As a blogger, this is pretty embarrassing. You were being completely reasonable. I’m glad you know we aren’t all like this!
And LOL. “Almost sounds like a porn site”. I was thinking the same thing when I read the name ? Yikes.

Amna
Amna

30 September, 2016

Oh wow!! Some people are absolutely shameless. I am a cake maker myself and love love your macarons! You were far too kind with your words and actions because I would have requested a court notice for “defamation”. Well done for not giving in!

CultureHash.com
CultureHash.com

08 September, 2016

Some bloggers think that they can do whatever they want.

Well done for standing up to her and exposing these lies

Matilda
Matilda

09 November, 2015

Wowsers…

Victoria
Victoria

22 September, 2015

OMG! I’ve only just seen this article as I live in Germany..!

Good on you for standing your ground. I think your piece is just what ought to have been said and is a lesson for all – be a professional or be on your way!

Well done!

Absolutely Prabulous
Absolutely Prabulous

21 September, 2015

I think there is something in the air. In the last 2 weeks, I’ve had some unpleasant (minor but still not nice) situations with uppity bloggers and have come across several #BloggersBehavingBadly articles. I don’t want to comment on what went as I hate trash talk (although I’m stunned by the tweets in those screenshots!) but WOW your cakes!

Fab post. Good job.

Myra
Myra

14 September, 2015

I just learned about this today. I’m stunned. How unprofessional. Maybe she was just trying to show off for the friend she brought and was embarrassed. ;)

Gentlemen's Luncheon Club
Gentlemen's Luncheon Club

01 September, 2015

Staggering on every level. Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help, we’d love to support you on this one!

Emma
Emma

31 August, 2015

Bloody hell, who does she think she is?! Completely agree with you on this one, and don’t see how anyone could do otherwise. Your shop really brightens up the neighbourhood btw, keep doing what you’re doing :)

Wine Roland
Wine Roland

25 August, 2015

Well written! How don’t be agree with you?

Max
Max

23 August, 2015

As a blogger and business owner, I am simply OUTRAGED by this blogger’s behaviour. And although I would never usually condone airing out disagreements on the internet, I think you have done something that many businesses have been too scared to do. Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last awful blogger you meet; there are plenty of these horrible creatures out there. But some of them are good eggs! Good luck x

Tom
Tom

22 August, 2015

Surely blogging is born out of a passion for the subject matter and creative writing. Once you have a sucessful following it might be a means to make a living.
To say each blog takes 8 hours and so requires £100 of free stuff as remuneration is rediculous.
The good news is this debacle bought me to your site and has me intrigued enough to search out Anges de Sucre next time I’m in the area. I can’t say I’ll be reading the offending blogger again any time soon.

Jay
Jay

21 August, 2015

Blogger here and what the blogger did really struck a nerve. If you’re into blogging, which is sort of independent journalism, your opinions should be as objective as possible – i.e. call a spade a spade. That was unprofessional and downright disgusting!

No matter her reviews, I applaud you for not giving it. This behavior should not be tolerated, and well there’s the thing called karma too.

Hope you do great on your bakery business! The cakes and macarons look delicious!

Emmanuelle
Emmanuelle

20 August, 2015

I am a blogger and I was 100% with you until I read “a not-very-well-known blogger” / “especially considering how insignificant this particular blog is” / “her blackmail-blog-that-almost-sounds-like-a-porn-site” not cool. The girl was clearly frustrated about something acting out like a toddler on social media, looking at the type of pictures she took and comments that was quite obvious and pairing with the information you are giving about how the day went, what happened and how she behaved we would get it. But you just ended up in the same level as her by attacking her blog and ego like that.

Patrick
Patrick

20 August, 2015

While I agree with you, you full well know she is not the sharpest tool in the tool shed. Take pity. #candyoffababy

Jane
Jane

19 August, 2015

Have you seen this girl’s response? I’ve never read such poorly written dross. She is a pathological liar that has carefully constructed her response to paint your beautiful company in as foul of light as possible. Round two basically. You are well within your rights to pursue her for defamation. I would willingly testify against this horrible human being. I was there on Sunday!

I’m not sure if you are aware of this, in a nutshell, this ‘blogger’ marched into your shop ignoring all those in queue, got given a gift box and then demanded three large boxes of macarons, muffles and marshmallows. She then without any tact threatened a bad review if she didn’t get what she wanted. Upon refusal she marched out of the shop nearly pushing over two people, one of which was clearly pregnant. A while after she then started to post vile reviews, constantly adding to them. She has pretended to see “red.” What nonsense. She got what was coming to her, couldn’t handle the repercussions of her actions and then much much later took them down off social media, but only once she started to feel the wrath of the outraged public.

I’ve read a number of blog articles by those pretending to have fully considered the situation. While I could tear apart every one of them in detail, it is suffice to say not one of them have the facts at hand and are merely acting in their own interests. Christ could you imagine if these people were judges. Fortunately for you my dear, the majority – and especially those holding any considerable influence – possess the wisdom, reading skills and analytical ability to see past her immaturity and obvious deceit.

Finally, as I am riling myself up here, I want to address some other issues that have been wrongfully brought against you:

1. Unprofessionalism – definitely not. You acted bravely and defended yourself elegantly while obviously refraining yourself from annihilating this immoral blogger. If I were you, I would have gone to town on her. Go on, please.
2. Miscommunication – get off your high horse people. There was none. If those in question possessed some basic skills of deduction you would realise the ‘blogger’s’ response is a post-blackmail attempt and she (not the cat’s mother) is trying to portray herself as a saint.

To conclude, there are plenty of legitimate bloggers as well as plenty of bloggers out there trying to exploit businesses. On top of this, there are journalists who attempt real journalism from whom the limelight is being stolen. I feel genuinely sorry for these people. I hope this debacle has helped people realise the importance of real journalism.

p.s. I am now your biggest Muffle fan. Can I have 10,000 free boxes? It’s about what I am worth by comparison.

Ray
Ray

19 August, 2015

That blogger is wicked and evil. Her action is
obviously shameful and unacceptable to thousands of professional bloggers who are fair and public in general.
I had tasted the sweets Reshmi made. Excellent quality. I also had the opportunity to see the workshop where ADS owner puts in hard work day in and day out to develop her little shop with love and care with very limited financial resources.. Any attempt to hurt her cute and honest shop is evil and deplorable.
God bless ADS.
Ray

Amanda
Amanda

18 August, 2015

Can’t comment on her page so….

I’m a blogger, I work with bloggers on a regular basis for my job, and my best friend is a journalist at world renowned publication. If I’m not writing, I’m around someone who is.

Here are the three issues:

One: there was a HUGE lack of communication — especially on your end. Next time, state something that includes the value of what they need to give you. That would of cleared the air right off the bat.

You also weren’t invited — you asked. It would have been an invitation if they reached out to you first. “Hi, We would love to invite you to our establishment so you can try our product in an exchange for a review.” Instead, you reached out, asking if it was okay. You instigated, which it 100% fine, it just wasn’t an invitation. I’m sure you’ll be getting proper invitations right and left as your blog grows. In the beginning, reaching out is a must. But don’t call it an invitation when it clearly wasn’t.

To add to the lack of communication aspect, you should have set up an actual appointment with the owner with the exact time and date you would be arriving.

Everything was harmless; you reached out, she said it was okay, you showed up with certain expectations that weren’t the same as hers. Just learn from this.

Two: Dealing with a small business is going to be a lot different than working with a large business like The Mondrian. Hotels and other very large brands have the budget and income to give things out for free every now and then. A small bakery doesn’t — so what they offered was more than enough to do a review. I know your work is valuable and time consuming — but just understand the small business aspect too. Life is expensive!

Three: The final problem was your attitude on social media. It was very immature, but I’m sure you have learned from the experience.

Lydia C. Lee
Lydia C. Lee

18 August, 2015

Good for you for responding. I find it interesting that she’d ask for free stuff in order to give you a favourable review – even if it’s free, aren’t we supposed to be honest? How odd. As for the rest of it?

Jay
Jay

18 August, 2015

I’m not usually one to comment on blog posts, but diva bloggers are something I feel very strongly about. That, and you’re really witty! ;)

I commented on wrapyourlipsaroundthis.com’s post regarding this fiasco, but heaven knows if it will ever see light of day, so here it is:

Based on this post, I get the impression that you are trying desperately to turn your blog into a source of revenue (or free food). A good food blog should always feature unbiased reviews, which is hard to do when you a) request for free stuff, or b) get paid to write the review (in which case, it should be clearly stated as an advertorial).

First off, you initiated contact with the bakery, so their “invitation” to have you review their sweets was out of courtesy. You weren’t clear on what was agreed between you and the bakery before your visit, but I presume that since there was no binding contract or money involved, neither party had an obligation to fulfil anything. When I read the bakery’s post, it didn’t come across as if they were expecting a fabulous review or any review at all. Likewise, based on the box of eight macarons and marshmallows they offered you, I think you weren’t obligated to write anything had you not enjoyed them. But it certainly would have been sufficient for you to form an opinion on the taste and quality of the baked goods.

I’ve been a journalist for 10 years, so I’ve received my fair share of press kits. A box of eight macarons (and/or marshmallows) is a pretty standard portion sent to most food/lifestyle publications. Why you think you are entitled to £100 of goods is beyond me, and frankly quite cringe-worthy.

So here’s a question for you: Had the bakery given you £100 worth of product, would you have written a glowing review for them even if their sweets were mediocre or bad?

While you may not have explicitly “blackmailed” them, the fact that you admitted to making the first strike in a fit of anger is incriminating enough. Makes one wonder who started the bullying first.

Sadly, diva behaviour like this is the very reason why food bloggers have been getting a bad rep. If you’d been labelled “not-very-famous” previously, you most certainly are “famous” now, and for all the wrong reasons. Not very worth it over £100 of baked goods eh?

Deana
Deana

18 August, 2015

You are handling this situation very professionally considering she was trying to hurt your business because you would not cave to her demands. As a blogger, I would never EVER expect freebies from companies in exchange for a positive review – in fact, that’s not even a “review” at all, it’s advertising. She’s an unprofessional brat with an average blog and very few followers. This debacle hurts her far worse than it does you.

Good luck to you and your amazing bakery. I wish I lived close enough to visit!

BTW, “Jessica” that posted a few pages back is clearly this lame blogger coming to her own defense because no one else will.

Kaz
Kaz

18 August, 2015

In all honesty, you may end up thanking that spiteful blogger. As if it wasn’t for her being greedy, and demanding freebies, then Jay Rayner wouldn’t have RT’d her blog on Twitter, and I wouldn’t have searched for your blog post with regards to it. In doing so I think I may have found the shop of my dreams! And possibly my daughter’s dreams. Although I’m not sure my husband’s wallet will agree with me, haha.
I look forward to testing your tempting wares.
Keep up the good work!

TO
TO

18 August, 2015

I think this highlights some really basic problems and confusion with emerging blogger business models.

Bloggers have to decide who they are: marketers or journalists. If they want to be marketers or PR people (which is basically how this blogger describes herself in her blog post about this incident), they should clearly negotiate a fee ahead of time to write a blog post about a company. They don’t need to promise a positive review (and if they don’t their brand as a blogger will have more value) but if they considers businesses as professional clients then they should clearly negotiate terms and fees. And they should be paid pre-negotiated fair compensation, preferably money rather than in kind, but in any case it will likely be a lot more substantial than tea and a cookie. And obviously the idea that they would pretend to be purely impartial an equally likely to write about any company would just be nonsensical.

If, on the other hand, they want to be journalists, then the clients are the readers (or advertisers, but that’s yet another story) and they simply can’t accept ANY free things. Yes, that means even a tea. Getting paid in ANY way by someone you’re claiming to be giving an impartial review of is such a basic conflict of interest. Yeah, I know, I know, you’re you and you’re incapable of being influenced by that and it won’t affect your opinion and you will be no more likely to write about this company than about an equally interesting one who didn’t give you a gift and so on, but accepting a gift from someone you’re reviewing is a basic and major ethical breach of conduct in and of itself.

So basically, bloggers need to figure out who their client is and be clear on it and act accordingly.

Claire
Claire

18 August, 2015

I do similar reviews on my blog www.TheWorldofKitsch.com which has been going since 2009. I would be mortified if I’d behaved in that fashion.

@foodieinheels
@foodieinheels

18 August, 2015

Thanks for having the guts to write this article – I’m a food blogger from Australia, and am absolutely appalled to read about your experience! Running a business is already hard as it is, without having to deal with self-entitled people like that. I wish you and your cakes all the best!

T
T

18 August, 2015

I am a blogger and run two pretty successful food blogs. I think you have handled this appalling situation really well. Your response is grounded, dignified and justified and I am glad that it hasn’t left a negative impression on bloggers. We’re good eggs, most of us!

Your shop looks incredible and macaroons are some of the best I’ve ever seen, so good luck! I’ll definitely swing by next time I’m in the smoke :)

Stacey
Stacey

18 August, 2015

Perhaps a bit late to the party but I couldn’t let this go.

Having never (knowingly) met either of them I am completely impartial so here goes.

In my opinion Wrap your Lips around this has come across appallingly and I would be incredibly embarrassed to be tarred with the same blogger brush as her.

I started Crummbs out of sheer bloody love for all the incredible food & bar goings on in this beautiful city. I never expected anyone to actually READ IT with their EYES! So when a few people did that was bloody lovely. And then when I started getting invited to try things out for FREE I couldn’t believe my bloody luck. Now I’m in the very very fortunate position where I can pick and choose the events & reviews I attend & send my small and equally grateful team to the ones I can’t or don’t want to go too. Never for one second do I take this privilege for granted. This blogging game can only work with mutual respect for one another. I am all about championing and supporting local or small businesses and the last thing I want to do is rinse them! If they are kind enough to want to invite me into their restaurant or bar how lovely is that? How cruel it would be to turn around and demand MORE MORE MORE. If you don’t feel like a macaroon is WORTHY of your time then it is beyond me why she felt the need to contact you in the first place. I could go on & on but will leave it there!

Carlie
Carlie

18 August, 2015

Fantastic response, bloggers like that give others a bad rep. She needs to get real

sally
sally

18 August, 2015

This is a great case example of how not to do it from a blogger’s perspective. The inexperience shows in so many ways it’s ridiculous.

The cheek of it – how greedy and rude to demand boxes of stuff when one sample of each would suffice. Totally agree with you that you shouldn’t give in to blackmail and extortion.

Keep calm and bake on!

Melanie
Melanie

18 August, 2015

Wow! I can’t believe this story. I have been blogging for four years now and I wouldn’t dare dream of expecting a hand out. There always has to be a bad seed in the bunch. One look at your product and it speaks for itself because it is gorgeous. Your curb appeal is beautiful. I just wish I could make a visit to your store. Stay strong!

Lacquered Geek
Lacquered Geek

18 August, 2015

As a blogger, I can’t imagine promising to do a positive review in exchange for product. My reviews are unbiased, and it’s something that I take seriously. I’m scared to even approach companies to blog their products because I’m afraid they’ll think I just want free stuff!

Rebecca
Rebecca

18 August, 2015

Ughhhh – so sorry you had to go through this.

Opinionated Man
Opinionated Man

18 August, 2015

You handled this well. Sounds like this “blogger” is a self-entitled termagant that probably runs a blog no one reads anyways. =|

Catherine
Catherine

18 August, 2015

I’m obsessed with this whole debacle. As a (relatively) new blogger (I guess—less than a year), I’m happy, in a twisted way, to read about bad behavior from a blogger? Why? Because it sets an example for me of how NOT EVER to behave. EVER! I love my blog—I treat her as though she is a part of me. Wait—my blog IS a part of me—an extension of my personality and I share my ups, downs, ins and outs and my humorous mishaps. I have been absolutely surprised at the few giftings I’ve received from writing nice things about some small businesses and even a cookbook author! I could have died! But—I never expect anything. It’s vulgar behavior. Best of luck with your shop. I LOVE, love love love the name! Best! Catherine

Catherine
Catherine

18 August, 2015

I’m obsessed with this whole debacle. As a (relatively) new blogger (I guess—less than a year), I’m happy, in a twisted way, to read about bad behavior from a blogger? Why? Because it sets an example for me of how NOT EVER to behave. EVER! I love my blog—I treat her as though she is a part of me. Wait—my blog IS a part of me—an extension of my personality and I share my ups, downs, ins and outs and my humorous mishaps. I have been absolutely surprised at the few giftings I’ve received from writing nice things about some small businesses and even a cookbook author! I could have died! But—I never expect anything. It’s vulgar behavior. Best of luck with your shop. I LOVE, love love love the name! Best! Catherine

Fleur De Force
Fleur De Force

17 August, 2015

This story is a perfect example of one of the few bad sides of blogging (there aren’t many)… Smaller bloggers behaving like spoilt children and thinking they are entitled to be given everything for free. It infuriates me, especially as it’s incredibly rare, but those who do it seem to shout the loudest. I’ve been in the industry for 6 years now and my advice to brands when asked is never to give free product to people who ask for it, but to approach those who you want to talk about your brand. :)
On a more positive note… your cakes look amazing, I’m sure that the outcome of this will be VERY positive for you overall! :) Fleur x

AT
AT

17 August, 2015

Don’t usually write comments, but felt aggreived about these free-loaders giving us honest bloggers a bad name.

Hope this episode only goes on to give you greater success!

Stay strong

Kelly
Kelly

17 August, 2015

Here I’m sitting bummed in the States because those macarons and cakes DO look delicious! I’m sorry you had such an awful experience with this one blogger, but I’m glad to see you have no let it spoil your attitude towards them in general. There’s always a sour one in the bunch, isn’t there? Keep on doing what you do! I’m in the US as I said, and I can’t think of a single bakery with such vision and creativity as your designs. Amazing!

Kat Forsyth
Kat Forsyth

17 August, 2015

I’m just sorry for anyone who takes her bad reviews seriously, and never gets to taste your actually fantastically delicious goodies. Their lives will be poorer for sure, without THE BEST MARSHMALLOWS AND MACARONS I HAVE EVER TASTED.

I don’t know how she managed to post those lies with the taste of edible joy still on her tongue.

Nataliya O.
Nataliya O.

17 August, 2015

Very intrigued by both sides of the story. This is basically a head-to-head between two small businesses looking to survive. I understand both perspectives very well, and unfortunately it just sounds like it simply wasn’t the right match.

I used to have a cookie company before switching over to strictly blogging, and the pressures of producing perishables is stressful and really under-appreciated. I worked for 24 hours STRAIGHT early on to fulfill a particularly large order, so I completely understand the value of not working for free! I think a small sample is justified if someone asks politely, but a larger request is simply unfair and selfish. I’ve had people DEMANDING samples from me—-and, simply put, I chose to ignore it. I give out food to the hungry and needy, not to someone who simply wants a cookie. I understand how difficult it is for a small business to keep producing.

At the same time, as a blogger I have been approached by brands that want me to review things or incorporate their brand into my posts with no compensation other than a social media post. While I appreciate the offer, I can’t eat a social media post. Knowing that there are prospects of payment and being determined to not sell yourself short is integral to survival. We all have to pay our bills.

The high road needs to be taken, and I hope the hashtag #bloggerblackmail dies out soon. This simply was a wrong match. The blogger was looking for a company that has a corporate structure, and the bakery was looking for a loyal customer and small blogger for more exposure. By the way, being ashamed for a backlink is unjustified. We all know how publicity works, and as a small business there isn’t a huge PR & advertising budget, so this is simply a plain ol’ barter. Nothing to be ashamed of, it’s business.

Good luck to the both of you.

Mel
Mel

17 August, 2015

Jessica (the fellow blogger) – bloggers don’t do their work for free. They are not there to give their opinion for services for budding businesses for free. They get paid for it by advertisers on their blogs. They get a certain amount of ‘hospitality’ for free by businesses but cannot, surely, expect favours left right and centre because they work are ‘kind’ enough to give a good review. Do me a favour, stop shoring up the rude and power hungry behaviour that is so frequently exercised by many lowly bloggers. I am frequently asked to provide my services for free by people claiming that I will get exposure from their many readers and followers. Bleurgh! what rubbish. I have NEVER had to pay anyone to get my name out there – reputation alone has seen to that.

Emily Johnson
Emily Johnson

17 August, 2015

I think some people are missing the point. You blog because you want to, it’s your choice, something you enjoy and you luckily get to taste/receive free samples. This girl contacted the shop, not the other way round. What if the shop received 100 “bloggers/blaggers” emails requesting free samples in return for reviews? Should they give them all £100 worth of goods because of the time they’ve had to spend eating them?
I love clothes shopping… Should a shop give me free clothes because I drove there, looked around, chose what clothes I wanted and then photographed myself in them for my Instagram account? Ridiculous.

Kara
Kara

17 August, 2015

Your macaroons look stunning so does your shop!
It could be it wasn’t what she had imagined as single sponsored posts do come at a cost. But what a shocking way to respond to the disagreement. I’m glad you responded to set the record straight. K x

Anne Wollenberg
Anne Wollenberg

17 August, 2015

What I wrote on the blogger’s entry, which I’m going to cut and paste:

Writing pays well if you do it efficiently. I’m stunned that you spend eight hours on a blog post. I spend less than that on a 3,500-word feature. In fact, in the past eight hours I’ve written a 3,500-word feature and two reviews, been out for lunch with a friend and done two phone interviews.

I have written for many national and international publications. I would never walk into a bakery and ask for £100 worth of free products because I’m going to write a blog post that, for some utterly unfathomable reason, apparently takes eight hours. It takes me an hour to write a blog post. Because this is my job, and I do it efficiently, to earn a living, not slowly, as a hobby. It’s fine that you do it differently – until you start claiming to speak on behalf of other writers.

It’s not about the time it takes you to write your blog post. That is where you are going wrong in attempting to weigh up the value of what you do vs. what you can get from the bakery. What you need to do is ask yourself what the value is to the people you are featuring. Is a post on your blog going to bring them £100 of business? Do you sell advertising space for £100? I suspect not. But this is what matters to them, not how long it takes you or how much you get paid.

I write for outlets that charge thousands of pounds for advertising and I still would never dream of behaving like you behaved at this bakery. You should have asked to try a few products, not leave with armfuls of freebies. It is because of people like you that it is increasingly difficult for the consumer press to procure review products from small businesses who have been scared off by over-entitled bloggers.

Your attitude stinks.

(By the way, if she actually says those things about you, you’ll have a darn good case for a label suit. Just saying.)

Nicola Miller
Nicola Miller

17 August, 2015

“Bloggers don’t work for nothing and I’m so tired of CHEAP – WANT -ALL – FOR – NOTHING tiny businesses ruining it for us all.
Jessica”

Blimey- don’t forget to sterilise that dummy before you pop it back into your mouth, love.

You CHOOSE to blog. When you start blogging you presumably didn’t get renumerated because you were too unimportant so how did you sustain your blog?

Ruining what? Expecting freebies and not having to have any of the professional ethics that real writers and reviewers possess?

laura
laura

17 August, 2015

Totally cringeing at this. She must feel embarrassed for being such a dousche – surely? You keep doing what you’re doing which is clearly awesome! Wafflemama x

Louise Pink Pear Bear
Louise Pink Pear Bear

17 August, 2015

I am a newbie blogger and I just cannot understand how anyone could have the nerve to do something like this!! Fair enough to approach a company and ask to work with them but to go in and place a ridiculously large order and expect to be given it for free! I think you should ignore and move on. What I really wanted to come on and say is that I am very impressed with the way you have managed to get so many cake piccies into a piece about blogging blackmail, which is what brought me here, because now it has definitely made me want to follow you on instagram for more drooling!! :D Am loving all the cakes and am now deeply saddened that you are not nearer…..and also a bit relieved for the sake of my poor waistline! ;)

Lucy
Lucy

17 August, 2015

I find this really, really interesting. I work full time as a journo and still have to clearly line up what I’m going to see/sample before I go or write about it. It’s just good manners and saves awkwardness on the day. As a blogger, I just blog about what I do anyway and don’t claim freebies at all. I think unfortunately the blogger in questions has flagged up a really bad blogging culture with her response. The whole thing about blogging being independent is that you start off generating great content based on what you love, then you may get to a point in readership etc that you can get advertising on the site, or partner on things with brands (clearly labelled as such). There’s so stage at which you get to demand a certain level of stuff in order to write a post (which, as we all know, might have taken 5 minutes if she’d slimmed down the word count as appropriate to what she’d tried). All in all I think it’s a bit hilarious that this was a bakery (and small business) that she was demanding showcase themselves with a massive selection box – when most punters she’s writing for would probably have ordered exactly what you offered – a couple of macaron and a hot chocolate. Bad form.

Callum
Callum

17 August, 2015

“Her seeing that as “payment” is rubbish. That’s just greed.

Amy "

Amen.

Callum
Callum

17 August, 2015

“As a blogger I am DISGUSTED by this. Not because of the other blogger but because of small businesses lie YOURS. Bloggers don’t work for free. Small blogger or not, It’s a little pathetic you stooped so low as to write this – I’m glad though as it now gives other bloggers the warning to stay away!

Of course her asking for more than what was offered to me is a bit much, but I don’t know any blogger who can give a good honest (bad or good) review of ANY product or place when the item is so small.. give me a break! She didn’t even write her review, and you posted her name and blog and IG?? Not only is that wrong but you just make her “insignificant” blog THAT much more significant. Maybe next time you agree to something you shouldnt expect SOMETHING for nothing. A small blog or not she was going to be advertising YOU. Anytime someone googled for reviews her post with photos etc would come up. The way I see it – BIG LOSS for you.

Bloggers don’t work for nothing and I’m so tired of CHEAP – WANT -ALL – FOR – NOTHING tiny businesses ruining it for us all.
Jessica "

Sorry for the delay in replying, I had to go change my underwear because I wet myself laughing at this comment from Jessica!

“Bloggers don’t work for free. Small blogger or not” – Why are bloggers with 1,000 views (quoted from a previous comment) expecting to be paid when they have no following (from someone who works in marketing a blog with less than 50,000 monthly uniques in the food industry is not worth knowing about) lol?? Greed. Greed. Greed. Probably because these same bloggers live off benefits tbh… expecting something for doing nothing.

“A small blog or not she was going to be advertising YOU. "
With an audience of 1,000 people, that’s not advertising, dear.

“Anytime someone googled for reviews her post with photos etc would come up. The way I see it – BIG LOSS for you.”
You need some new specs.

not a blogger
not a blogger

17 August, 2015

i’m not a blogger, just a consumer, and i can’t believe some of the replies to this blog. people are actually trying to stand up for the blackmail blogger? As a read i just want to know about what is good and what isn’t, i don;t want to know who gave you the most free stuff. Your revenue comes from building a fanbase and then monetising that somehow, it doesn’t come from bribes!

Basically, if you read “wrapyourlipsaroundthisblog” you now know thatthings with a good review may not actually be any good, they just gave her what she wanted.

great, that’ll help us.

Callum
Callum

17 August, 2015

“THIS is why some brands think that bloggers will WORK for free or product. I agree with some of your other commenters that although I probably won’t read the person in question’s blog (as she seems quite demanding) I also won’t be visiting your shop. The fact that you agreed to the review for backlinks is understandable (shameful but understandable) however to treat the bloggers time effort and reach as minor is embarrassing, cruel and disrespectful, not to mention the personal shaming going on here. If an ‘unknown’ blogger has 1000 readers and ALL of them are fully interested and engaged with what they write, you’re more likely to get visits/purchases from them than a much bigger blog where people only skim read or glance at the blog.
CW "

Lol what a joke. 1,000 readers is peanuts. I wouldn’t get out of bed for 1,000 a day. Anges de Sucre would be VERY lucky to get 1 sale from this. Worth £100 in marketing costs? NO.

Callum
Callum

17 August, 2015

Can I have £100 worth of free macarons in exchange for no publicity on my crappy blog please? Lolz @ a_mehreen

Steff
Steff

17 August, 2015

While I don’t condone blackmail or unfair demands AT ALL, maybe you shouldn’t have agreed to work with this blogger in the first place if you deemed their blog “insignificant”. A blog post takes hours, it is work, and when it is agreed to be sponsored it is both parties duty to be up front and honest and respectful as you would with any business. Why the amount wasn’t agreed upon up front seems to be where the problems began. She seems to have felt undercut, and expected to provide a post for less than what she felt the work merited. Her demands sound unreasonable but maybe she didn’t realize how much the products cost, it sounds like poor communication on both sides. You have a right to explain why you feel this went down, but perhaps in future don’t expect bloggers to work to promote your business unless you are familiar with them and willing to give fair recompense that is agreed upon ahead of time. I do think this is not a great reflection on an aspect of blogging, but getting a few “free” macaroons is really not much payment for creating and cross promoting a post about your business – it is time spent promoting your brand, and you should value it if you wish to co-ordinate with bloggers.

Babus Ahmed
Babus Ahmed

17 August, 2015

I am speechless! It’s disrespectful to you and the blogging community to behave in such an underhand way. I will be avoiding this particular blogger and her blog. Your cakes and macarons look absolutely lovely and if I wasn’t slimming I’d definitely get some.

Hannah
Hannah

17 August, 2015

She’s definitely an exception. I can promise you if I’d been invited I would have been grateful for what I’d been given (and probably purchased while I was there too!) Macarons are one of my favourites.

Emma Glasgow Foodie
Emma Glasgow Foodie

17 August, 2015

I can totally understand your post, as well as the “unprofessional” comments. Someone has attacked your baby and you want to protect it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it got the topic out there.

Being able to spend time with a business, see the place at work is the best bit of foodie blogging, yes free food is amazing as well! When ive gone to get free food, i let the business decide .

Hopefully the blaggers take note.

Jessica
Jessica

17 August, 2015

As a blogger I am DISGUSTED by this. Not because of the other blogger but because of small businesses lie YOURS. Bloggers don’t work for free. Small blogger or not, It’s a little pathetic you stooped so low as to write this – I’m glad though as it now gives other bloggers the warning to stay away!

Of course her asking for more than what was offered to me is a bit much, but I don’t know any blogger who can give a good honest (bad or good) review of ANY product or place when the item is so small.. give me a break! She didn’t even write her review, and you posted her name and blog and IG?? Not only is that wrong but you just make her “insignificant” blog THAT much more significant. Maybe next time you agree to something you shouldnt expect SOMETHING for nothing. A small blog or not she was going to be advertising YOU. Anytime someone googled for reviews her post with photos etc would come up. The way I see it – BIG LOSS for you.

Bloggers don’t work for nothing and I’m so tired of CHEAP – WANT -ALL – FOR – NOTHING tiny businesses ruining it for us all.

Alice Toby-Brant
Alice Toby-Brant

17 August, 2015

I agree with Emma. A fee agreed up front is one thing, but if you are reviewing a product you take what is offered and review that. It’s far too entitled to ask for more!

www.themiddlesister.co.uk

Bianca @ItsAllBee
Bianca @ItsAllBee

17 August, 2015

Its a shame you both had a negative experience out of this. There are lessons to be learnt on both side to be clear of what is on offer from both sides. I was make sure that if I am reviewing an experience that requires me to go with someone that is arranged up front and if a second person is not included I have always paid extra for me to bring a guest where I can. Getting things cleared up from the get go ensures you avoid or minimise the likelihood of any misunderstandings. Otherwise I just don’t offer or accept items for review, especially if they are not things that I often write about.

CW
CW

17 August, 2015

THIS is why some brands think that bloggers will WORK for free or product. I agree with some of your other commenters that although I probably won’t read the person in question’s blog (as she seems quite demanding) I also won’t be visiting your shop. The fact that you agreed to the review for backlinks is understandable (shameful but understandable) however to treat the bloggers time effort and reach as minor is embarrassing, cruel and disrespectful, not to mention the personal shaming going on here. If an ‘unknown’ blogger has 1000 readers and ALL of them are fully interested and engaged with what they write, you’re more likely to get visits/purchases from them than a much bigger blog where people only skim read or glance at the blog.

Juliana Rego
Juliana Rego

17 August, 2015

Oh wow! I’m at a loss for words here. I didn’t think #bloggerblackmail would ever be a thing. Especially since all of us bloggers, whether big or small, have and still do work very hard to build a good reputation in the blogosphere. Why would anyone want to jeopardise that! Oh wait, we already have one blogger in this post who has done everything in her power to mess things up for her. Hope she’s pleased with herself!

Like the others, I too believe that you should learn from this incident so you can be more cautious in future and at the same time put this behind you and move on. Get busy filling up those shelves again with some gorgeously yummy treats for the rest of us! :)
- Juliana – x
http://buzzingtrends.wordpress.com

Lauren
Lauren

17 August, 2015

Appalled by this blog post… shame on you!

£100 is not the value of the products, it’s the retail value, so unless you make no profit, you are over-exaggerating the actual cost to your business by giving the blogger these items.

You both should have been crystal clear about expectations and above all, you should NEVER have posted this scathing attack – it’s really unprofessional. The cutesy pics and language don’t soften the blow and make you look even slyer, in my opinion.

Oh and to all the bloggers insisting “they’re not like that”, all the while hinting at how delicious everything looks and how gorgeous the shop is… Pull the other one! So transparent.

Charlotte
Charlotte

17 August, 2015

Iv read both blog posts, & I see your point but as a company you yourself have to be professional not slate a blogger to the ground, in an email of the winning blogger to do a review for you you should have clearly stated as to what she was to be reviewing and clear proof of that would be necessary now for the public, me personally think this was just a publicity stunt for yourselfs. Oh and btw bloggers kidz plaques are looking for genuine bloggers to reviview Thair products soon email charlotte@kidzplaques and don’t worry all details will be provided

sarah  arrow
sarah arrow

17 August, 2015

Oh Reshmi! What a horrid experience for you! As has been said before, both you and the blogger were working for free – the product as a gift, and the article needs writing. I just don’t like the virtual blackmail aspect of the whole process. Good luck in your future collaborations

Anne Cater
Anne Cater

17 August, 2015

I’m a blogger, predominantly a book blogger, but every now and again, I talk about food too.
I’m so sorry that you’ve had this experience, I’ve read the other side too, and you certainly come out on tops. I feel sad that the blogging community has been portrayed in this way.
I’m nowhere near London, but if I’m ever in the area, I will certainly be popping in to sample your meringue! Take care
Anne
http://randomthingsthroughmyletterbox.blogspot.co.uk/

Lordine
Lordine

17 August, 2015

Such a shame this has happened. I wouldn’t say this is typical “blogger” behaviour. Sounds as though whatever happened that day, has been taken very personally by the lady involved If it has been done maliciously that’s not fair on her part and hopefully she may offer to retract these posts.

Can assure you we wouldn’t all react in this manner.

Lordine
Editor of Show The Bride
www.showthebride.com

Emma | Hey There, House
Emma | Hey There, House

17 August, 2015

This is crazy! If I’m writing a post for a brand for their site, or a sponsored post, we agree a fee. However, if I’m reviewing a product whatever I get is what I get! And I only review stuff I actually want to recommend or a brand I really like. Blogging is an absolute PLEASURE. I don’t do it for the freebies, although that would be nice!
Talk about looking a gift horse right in the mouth.

StressedMum
StressedMum

17 August, 2015

Unfortunately, in whatever business you are in, someone always wants something for nothing. We have experienced it ourselves.

Rachael
Rachael

17 August, 2015

wow! very rarely am I lost for words but this is most definitely one of those times. How shocking!!!!

Amy
Amy

17 August, 2015

The amount of freebies probably should have been defined from the start, but surely to be able to write an honest and accurate review she only needed to taste a couple of items, not a few boxes of stuff! Her seeing that as “payment” is rubbish. That’s just greed.

Christopher
Christopher

17 August, 2015

I’m a dad blogger myself and this is appalling. I understand that if a company contacts you, then give a truthful review BUT if you contact a company it will be because you love the product.. Obviously they are looking for publicity or something because the review doesn’t make sense. Keep your chin up.. We aren’t all bad.

Sweetened Sour
Sweetened Sour

17 August, 2015

OMG this is horrible! That blackmail blogger is unprofessional and really shouldn’t even class herself as a blogger. People like that, i like to call BEGS – they aren’t worth the ‘Blogger’ label.

If i was ever upset or not impressed with a product sent to me by a company, i simply email them telling them i do not want to do a negative review and i appreciate the gift sent. I will review it privately by email to give them the honest review of what i didn’t like. It’s common courtesy to review honestly, but i will never do a bad review publicly. However, when i do notice things i don’t like i will do Pros and Cons on the product.

Blackmail bloggers are the worst and make the rest of us, actual bloggers, look bad! Thank you for writing this post.

Lauren x
Http://lauren-ohara-x.blogspot.com

Julie
Julie

17 August, 2015

Hi there, I can’t look at social media without seeing #bloggerblackmail today.
I am a blogger, I do reviews and write about places I’ve been or things I think in between those reviews. I hate it when drama like this kicks off to be honest. It makes non-blogging friends think I am some kind of diva demanding things for free everywhere I go.

Claire LazyGirlBlog
Claire LazyGirlBlog

17 August, 2015

Oh dear.
On behalf of bloggers who review I would like to apologise for my peer.

This sort of disgraceful behavior is what tarnishes all with the “blagger” tag.

I’ve been blogging for ten years and reviewing since 2009, and I do think that there is a minority of bloggers now who have set up purely to scam whatever they can. They don’t build their niche or following, they simply do a couple of half arsed posts, a few images on instagram and off they go with the entitlement attitude for having set something up, however mediocre it is.

Yes, it is a bit iffy to simply allow a lackluster blogger to review you purely for stats, but then you are far from the only brand to do this, and bloggers are hardly guilt free of this either via hosting competitions to entice people to their blog.

I would say you can ask for a DMCA notice to be placed if the review is utter rot and they have blackmailed you as they have. No blogger big or small is allowed to write whatever the hell they like and not face the consequences. You can easily find out who hosts their blog and report this to them, most take a dim view.
I have reviewed items which were less than great, but the professional thing t do is allow the company a right of response first. I find 99% of brands will want to have a look at constructive criticism to improve their product first.

Personally, I am very pleased you’ve named this lady, and hope that she gets the blacklist treatment. We’re not aall like that, promise!

CherrySue
CherrySue

17 August, 2015

I get that we’re only getting one side of events here (not that I’m questioning you) but if it happened this way I think there are better ways to handle this whole situation for everyone involved.
What I would say is that I’ve been blogging for a very long time (relatively speaking) and this is the very first instance I’ve actually seen this happen. And yes it’s gob smacking. While I get creating a catchy hashtag (#bloggerblackmail) means more chance of social shares for a post, it doesn’t actually make it a thing. The only purpose a particularly negative hashtag serves is to kick up a storm of negativity surrounding bloggers and their perceived ‘perks’. One only need look at the comments here and on Twitter to see what I mean. I have no doubt you ladies do a marvellous job with fab products to sell, it’s just that calling someone ‘insignificant’ and wishing her ‘the best of luck with her blackmail-blog-that-almost-sounds-like-a-porn-site’ really isn’t the most professional behaviour and were this particular blogger (I don’t know her tbf) more legally minded she could absolutely take issue with this as a public post. In much the same way as you have with hers.
I guess what I’m saying is we’re all adults here and were we all to pull up our big girl pants and look objectively (and professionally) at this situation than maybe it would have been handled very differently indeed.

Bec
Bec

17 August, 2015

I think if you expect a decent review from a writer with some skill, illustrated with well-taken photographs which display your work at its best that would amount to at least two full days work from someone. Their work will concretely improve your business and profits (which is why you say you did it), and you wanted them to do all that in return for “a little treat bag”? Then this is the sort of thing that might happen to you.

The blogger probably should have kept her temper and not bought or reviewed anything at all following her wasted trip, but you shouldn’t expect people to work for you essentially for free and be annoyed when they don’t like it, and posting this assassination in retrospect paints you in an extremely bad light.

A Blogger And Brand
A Blogger And Brand

17 August, 2015

Hi! :)
First off I would like to say I read about this on social media from a follower, so I guess bad press is good press! ;)

I run a brand and blog, they are mutually exclusive, so I can see from both sides of the argument.
First of all there is no doubt that she should not have done what she did, it’s completely unacceptable and unprofessional. However I have to question the way you have gone about this for many reasons.
First of all you keep mentioning how insignificant the blogger is,; If that’s the case then why work with her? And why care what she writes?
You keep saying “for free”. She wasn’t doing anything for free, she was writing a blog review, so you weren’t giving away your hard work for free, you were both doing something for something, rather than something for nothing.
The £100 worth of stuff? It may retail at that, but that’s not the true cost to your business, unless you make no profit.

The biggest point for me is this: You’re questioning the ethics of the blogger, however you state were doing this for a backlink for SEO and not for anything else. This is unethical and a big NO-NO. If she said “I am an ethical blogger so I work under the Google Webmaster Guidelines, so any links will be no-follow and you’ll get nothing in the way of SEO” would you have still agreed to work with her? Probably not since you admit that it was all for a backlink. I’m afraid you can’t have your cake and eat it!

As a brand I completely sympathise with you, nobody likes to hear bad things about their brand or products, it’s easy to see you have put a lot of work, time and effort into this, and I’m sure this will not hamper any success you will have.
However you will get a bad review, it happens to us all and nobody likes it, but as they say, you cannot please all of the people, all of the time.

I think the lesson is clear from both the blogger and brand point of view; If you work together make it crystal clear what you want and expect, and what you want and expect in return.

I don’t know you or the blogger, but I wanted to have my say because I am run a brand and blog, and occasionally I am not happy with the way one treats the other, thankfully this is a minority.

You’ll probably not publish this, but at least you may read it :)

Fi Ni Neachtain
Fi Ni Neachtain

17 August, 2015

This is absolutely awful, what an absolute fool she is! I’m so sorry that you’ve had to put up with this kind of crap from a ‘blogger’ – blagger seems a more fitting title for her. I promise we’re not all like that! P.S. your shop looks delightful!

Kara | Queen of the LBD
Kara | Queen of the LBD

17 August, 2015

I’ve read both sides of this and to be honest I think you guys have come out really well. If she’s a professional blogger than she should have agreed to the terms and what would be given before attending, not assume she would get it all free! And then to go on an angry spree on social media afterwards, not very adult.
Some places may be happy to throw money at bloggers but as a small independent business, £100 is a lot!
Thankfully, you have stayed calm and kind, and even better, I live near you so will be popping in to try them out as your shop looks the cutest!

Kerry at Kerry Cooks
Kerry at Kerry Cooks

17 August, 2015

Seems like there was a communication failure of some sorts here which is a shame. If the blogger really said they would give a guaranteed positive review then of course that isn’t on at all. It’s definitely worth being very clear in your future interactions with bloggers what you’re willing to give for free – it may be worth giving some bigger more influential bloggers a free cake for instance if they have an engaged following that you want to reach. Others, not so much!

Also it’s important to note though that no blogger worth their salt would back link to you in return for free stuff – google takes a very dim view of this (as it’s a form of payment) and all links must be no follow).

Attachment Mummy
Attachment Mummy

17 August, 2015

Think I might be in a minority here, but I’m not sure there has been great behaviour on either side! To expect an SEO backlink, advertising/marketing and a full review for a little bag of 3 items is disingenuous at best; taking the P at worst. But of course to come into your shop demanding a list of items is also appalling behaviour.

Please, please move away from calling review samples for bloggers ‘free stuff’. I can speak only for myself, but the time taken to visit your shop, take photos, review the service and product, and write up a full review would be valued at far more than three items. However, I would have first clarified what was offered and expected on both sides and pointed out that an SEO link (which you say you wanted) + review would not be offered for such a small sample. I’m sure you wouldn’t be able to get a marketing commitment (which is what blogging is) anywhere else for a few pounds (cost price to you probably negligible).

I do see that the blogger’s behaviour was unprofessional and diva-ish, but a recognition of the benefit they could have offered you may have created a better end result for all concerned. I hope your future dealings with bloggers are more successful.

Kay Wilkinson
Kay Wilkinson

17 August, 2015

As a former mummy blogger I have received substandard products, clothes that literally fell off my back, mouldy cheese, mouldy chocolate, empty jam jars and non-payment for services ….. and had to act responsibly and sensibly to the situation, which was not always easy, but I tried. I would never, ever, in a million trillion years, behave like this, especially as the products were obviously purposely slated for no other reason apart from spite. This really is actual bona fide blogger blackmail. I hope this blogger is thoroughly ashamed of her behaviour, she gives hard working, dedicated, professional bloggers a bad name. I’m really shocked. :(

Jerry Z
Jerry Z

17 August, 2015

Good bloggers are seen as a very ‘cheap’ form of instant marketing; especially those that produce the photographs and write up that many professional restaurant guides / magazines would charge a fortune to produce. This is a potential “win/ win” situation for the restaurants and hotels that appear on your blog, and other food blogs.

Having undertaken two restaurant reviews in the past, I can say that it is really hard work! It is not a ’free meal."

The blogger is not free to relax, its not a lunch or evening out. It is work at the venue and even more work, writing and producing a blog with carefully edited photographs. The two restaurants I reviewed, provided two free meals which when compared to my per hour salary – was a great financial deal for them.

It’s sad therefore when a small business, like yours, a) treats bloggers as a means to get “something for nothing” b) has no clear understanding of the service good bloggers provide.

The manufacturing costs of french recipe macaroons are negligible, I’ve baked them at home – certainly not the £100 charged to the customer! You have missed the potential marketing gains from this opportunity for a fair review.

To try to cover up that a business sells two day old products (and charge for the privilege) and then try to defend its standards by rubbishing a valid blog post highlighting their deficiency is sometimes the cross bloggers have to bear.

Jacqueline
Jacqueline

17 August, 2015

Well said ? it’s about time someone spoke out about #blackmailbloggers after all bloggers are so quick to slate companies when they don’t get what they want. It’s no wonder us mere mortal people #nonbloggers are getting bored of bloggers and their tactics.

Fanny
Fanny

17 August, 2015

Awful to see this happening. Everything I do on Fanny’s Haven is honest reviews. I have to agree, her blog does sound like a porn site, get some self-awareness sister!

Love from Fanny

Fannyshaven.wordpress.com @fannyshaven

Katy Standen
Katy Standen

17 August, 2015

It makes me so sad to read stories like this, it such bad behaviour.
Now she has been named and shamed it will be very hard for her to try and pull this stunt again. I’m sure as well PR’s will be giving her a wide berth for a while, as they want to work with people with integrity not just someone who wants a free lunch.
Those cakes look amazing by the way!!

HJ
HJ

17 August, 2015

Wow that’s just wow! This is downright criminal. I am glad you posted about this, as this gives discouragement to such idiotic people. She couldn’t have gone too long without getting outed in public for doing such a horrible thing. There surely must be others she blackmailed, and thanks to this, her credibility must be severely questioned by her followers I hope. I wish you all the best and happiness to your business.

HJ – @Rockingbhootni

Sandra
Sandra

17 August, 2015

This is simply ridiculous. I just don’t understand how people find it legit to act this way just because they have a little piece of the internet with their name on it.

Also, who has enough time (and energy) to take on such a vendetta for no reason whatsoever! I mean, 4 instagram pictures with the aim of hurting your business with bd publicity? Really? #DontYouHaveALifeOrSomething

Anyway, those macaroons look lovely and as I’m currently trying to taste all that are available in London, I will be on my way to your shop shortly to purchase a few treats!

Sandra | Cake + Whisky

Clare @ Emmys Mummy
Clare @ Emmys Mummy

17 August, 2015

I continue to be embarrassed that a few of these types of bloggers give us other hard working and honest bloggers a bad name. It’s honestly not surprising that companies are vary still of the worth of bloggers but glad to see you haven’t been put off.

Raisah
Raisah

17 August, 2015

Oh and I’m positive you won’t approve my comment but as long as you read it – thats really all that matter :)

Raisah
Raisah

17 August, 2015

What a thoroughly nasty post you’ve written. To personally attack someone like this really is shocking, and is not ‘holding your head high’ at all – it’s trawling through the mud. The amount of publicity you get from inviting bloggers to spend their time and money coming down to you, taking fantastic pictures of your produce and then spending as many hours writing about it – well, if you hired an actual publicity company for the same they’d charge you through the nose, as you very well know. The blogger in question has since removed the things she wrote in anger – I suggest you do the same if you want to maintain any class. I certainly won’t be visiting your bakery, and will encourage others to avoid your establishment also – after reading this poison, it won’t take much.

Deimante
Deimante

17 August, 2015

Wow I really can’t believe that blogger blackmail is a thing!! How cheeky of her, people like her give us bloggers a bad name! Thanks for writing this article.
Deimante www.sunnydei.com

Amanda Bootes
Amanda Bootes

17 August, 2015

I honestly can’t believe this. As a blogger myself I know how hard we work on building reputable relationships with brands in order to benefit both sides. It’s definitely a complete attack and back moral on everything we have all worked hard to achieve. The status of a blogger has worked hard to be deemed as important in the social world as it is. And what this girl did was ridiculous. Naming and shaming of her is definitely the best thing you could have done. Good on you. You can definitely weed out the ones who do it for the stuff and publicity rather than the love and passion of it.

Amanda || amandabootes.co.uk

Catherine
Catherine

17 August, 2015

I’m sorry this happened to you :( On the plus side, it means I found your shop via Twitter. On the down side, I now want to eat ALL OF IT.

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