Marketing firm USWeb is paying over 2000 bloggers for inline commercial comment and placement on their blogs.
A report in the Boston Globe states that the company is using bloggers such as Jeff Cutler, who is blogging about products without having used them or even disclosing his commercial interests in the posts.
A look at his blog at www.jeffcutler.com displays numerous commercial posts with links to outside commercial interests. Sadly, Cutler tells the Boston Globe:
”People should be trained to take what they read with a grain of salt…A person is not spending their time to throw something up on the Internet unless they have an objective or an ulterior motive. For me, it was making a few bucks and disciplining my writing.”
Remarkably USWeb defends the cash for comment process as being ethical, stating
‘We try to be as ethical as possible….In our opinion, paying bloggers is no different than Tiger Woods getting money to wear the Nike logo.”