Discussion on Sponored Content

Discussion in 'BYC Website & Forum Feedback & Announcements' started by Nifty-Chicken, Apr 13, 2012.

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  1. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    There have been a handful of questions and concerns regarding the threads in the Sponsored Content, Contests, and Giveaways section of the site, specifically this recent post: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/651014/combine-nutrition-and-your-chickens-natural-instincts

    I've moved a handful of the questions and concerns from that thread into this thread because they apply to more than just one advertiser / sponsor of the site.

    We're open to feedback and suggestions as long as they are provided in a friendly and respectful way. We've been running BYC as a free resource way too long to be accused of being sneaky and dishonest.

    If you want to vent your concerns in a heated, unfriendly, or unhelpful way, please PM me. Just keep in mind that we give a lot more credibility to those that raise concerns that do so with a tone of friendliness and respect.

    Again, we love this community and devote countless hours providing millions of people with a free resource. Please keep that in mind when reviewing our policies and processes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  2. jadoremesfilles

    jadoremesfilles New Egg

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    I too find it unsettling to read through an article on an otherwise terrific website, only to discover that it is a thinly disguised advertisement for a product. I don't mind obvious advertising, but dislike "hidden" or veiled advertising which is not immediately obvious. It makes me feel tricked and manipulated...
     
  3. BigRedNZ

    BigRedNZ Out Of The Brooder

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    This website is a proactive unbiased and professional production. You can't get anything for nothing (except herpes) and this is a. Rolling site considering it manages to stay free. My only problem is I struggle to support this sites supporters, because most I the products are t available in New Zealand. Thanks again for a great site, and thanks to the sponsors for making it happen
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
    It was not clear that this article was posted under the "Sponsored Content" section of BYC because it appears up in the banner when you first log on to BYC. Generally stuff up there is your average post by BYC users. I think, since this article was doubly posted on the banner as well as in the sponsored content thread, there should have been a disclaimer at the top stating that this was Sponsored Content since users likely accessed the article through the banner, NOT by first going to the sponsored content thread.

    It's perfectly fine to post content from sponsors, but please let us know that up front.

    I must also quibble with whether this was "worthwhile content". An article that warns us our chickens will get sick if their food touches manure, so we'd better buy their forage cakes, is just plain false. As I posted in my first post there is scientific research by respected academic institutions that report lower chick mortality rates and better growth/nutrition rates when the chicks foraged in a well-managed deep litter environment.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
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  5. violets812

    violets812 Out Of The Brooder

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    Woo Hoo!! Good for you! Thanks for having the guts to step up and speak out; for all of us!
     
  6. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
    That is the very best kind of advertising. Real customers sharing what they really like on a social networking forum is great for the company and valuable information for other potential customers.

    But, someone whom I suspect is an employee or a paid advertiser posting a pseudo-informational article (with inaccurate info, to boot) and then this website posting that content as if it were an article when it is only an ad....that I have a problem with.

    This is a great website and I think most users are fine with some advertising space or even whole threads being devoted to sponsors. But allowing an ad to "hide" as an informational article is generally frowned upon in any respected business circle.
     
  7. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's something interesting. I clicked on Jenni011's username and was able to see when she has started a thread or posted content in a thread. The only time Jenni011 has ever posted any content is in the Sponsored Content, Contests, and Giveaways thread.

    Hmmm, so now I'm suspecting that she does not work for the most recent company she featured, but instead she works for BYC as a liaison between BYC and it's sponsors. As in...she'll write up an article about the company's product in exchange for their sponsorship of BYC, it's contests, it's giveaways, etc.

    Can BYC please clarify the role of Jenni011? Are companies able to hire someone who will pose as the average BYC user to write up their products?

    Let me say again that there is absolutely nothing wrong with space given to advertising by sponsor companies. The only problem is when this isn't made clear to the users of the website.

    Here is why it is unclear, 1. Because BYC posted content from Jenni011 in the banner on the homepage so that users would enter her article through this view, NOT through the Sponsored Content thread, it was unclear that this was a piece of paid advertisement. 2. Jenni011 is presented as a BYC user, not as a paid spokeswoman. Just as paid spokespeople must reveal their role in TV commercials and magazine ads, it should be done here in her avatar.

    Edited to add: I see BYC just added a line to the top of this article saying it is paid content from Forage Cakes. Well done. Nice to see a prompt response. Now, so long as Jenni011 states in her avatar that she is a paid spokeswoman (in a private PM to me she confirmed she does work for BYC) they'll be fully in compliance with accepted business practices.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
    2 people like this.
  8. Melinda35

    Melinda35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really don't understand why you are making such a big deal about this. I clearly understood from reading the article that she was advertising for the this specific company since that is the only company the article mentioned. I have also read other articles written by this highly educated chicken lady. I have also read some of her post under a different name (I recognized the picture) so she apparently had her own user name before becoming an employee of BYC. I appreciate the fact that she is researching these products and giving us information on them. Saves me time. Good for you Jenni011 for having an awesome job that some of us only dream about.

     
  9. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: I value honest opinions offered by someone who has not been given compensation for their testimony. I feel it is deceitful to pretend this is the case when in fact you're a paid spokesperson.

    If BYC wants to offer the services of someone who is paid to review products from sponsors, that's great! Please do so...but be forthcoming about it, don't pretend it's an unbiased review when it isn't. It isn't what she wrote that is the problem (though the bad science was a red flag for me) it is the fact that she didn't reveal she was paid to write it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Daisy8s. This article and the Predator Preventer plug both left a bad taste in my mouth, not because there were products being advertised, but because I felt that the intent was purposefully misrepresented.

    I think it is great if sponsors want to open up threads to provide accurate info on their products and allow members to freely discuss the pros and cons and alternatives. When something is just a link on the sidebar, we have to rely on the reviews chosen to be included in the company website for testimonials. But if sponsors want to plug a product and open up a thread for discussion, it should be evident that this is exactly what is happening.

    1. The thread starter should specify who they are employed or funded by - this is called "disclosure," and it applies to the medical field as well. In nursing presentations, speakers disclose ALL company affiliations they have, even if it is not relevant to the topic.

    2. There should be a disclaimer at the end of the post that says something like "The preceeding was a paid-for advertisement by our sponsors at blah-blah-blah"


    I had no trouble figuring out what was going on, and it brought to mind a magician or a con-man planting an accomplice in the audience. And that was how I felt reading the article - as if the intent were to trick the average users, and I have to admit I was insulted.
     
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