Would You Get on a Scale in Public for $300?

01.5.11


In 2011 I promised myself that I’d stop picking on the poor publicists who pitch the mommy bloggers. I swore I’d avoid the low hanging fruit, and I vowed to ignore WalMart, Skittles, and train wrecks in between.

Today’s pitch is too rich to ignore.

A group of Mommy Bloggers were invited by Special K to go to The Grove (its an outdoor mall here in Los Angeles), and hop on a scale. You know, in front of people, presumably a crowd. From the pitch:

Because Special K focuses on helping people lose weight and be healthy, at the event, people will be invited to step on a super-sized scale to reveal what they will GAIN when they lose weight (a common New Year’s Resolution) in 2011. Instead of a number, the scale will give an inspirational word or phrase that encompasses the emotional benefit of achieving a goal!  You can also write your “gain” on Special K cereal packaging, take a photo with it, and share it with other women on the SpecialK.com community.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

– Help us encourage people to attend the event!  Post the details on Twitter, Facebook and your blogs during the week leading up to it.
– Attend the event and be an on-site reporter for your blog – talking to Special K representatives and other attendees about their New Year’s Resolutions, etc.  If you can include video that would be awesome!
– Live tweet during the event if you have the capabilities.
– Take photos and video as you talk with people and participate in the activities!
– The next step would be to take all of the fantastic material you gather – quotes from attendees, photos, videos, things you learned – and turn it into an inspiring, wonderful blog post for your readers.

The stipend for participating is $300!

The issues as I see them:

  • Who is going to weigh themselves at The Grove? Is nothing private? I don’t care that you get a message instead of a number, this is a horrible plan that reeks of 23 year old publicists twirling their frosted hair in a boardroom.
  • Why would I care about the “Special K Community”? We have communities, we don’t have to gather around a cereal box.
  • Encourage people to attend the event? Why? So they can weigh themselves too? Am I supposed to have any friends left?
  • Post on twitter, facebook and my blogs? For $300? Three Hundred Dollars to reach 50,000 people? Did someone drop you on your head?
  • Attend the event and be an on site reporter, plus video? Again, this is a HUGE ask, with a minuscule amount of money attached to it.

I can’t go on point by point, Special K has devised a five figure campaign and offered bloggers $300 to humiliate themselves and then get about $10 an hour by the time they’re done. In addition to that it’s a huge expense of social capitol.

Also, ladies, before you attend an event like this I’d like you to look at the ingredients for Special K and decide if that’s what you think you should eat for two meals a day. Keep in mind that they’re listed in order of greatest to least quantity.

Special K Ingredients: Rice, wheat gluten, sugar, defatted wheat germ, salt, high fructose corn syrup, dried whey, malt flavoring, calcium caseinate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), reduced iron, niacinamide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, and vitamin B12.

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35 responses to “Would You Get on a Scale in Public for $300?”

  1. DrLori71 says:

    Hell yeah, I’d get on a scale in public for $300!
    Do all of that other stuff for $300? Uh, no.

  2. I’d step on a scale in public for $300, but I would drive to the Grove for a sponsored blogging event for $300.

  3. …would NOT drive to the Grove…

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jessica Gottlieb, Brandie185. Brandie185 said: I just read these two back to back and feel conflicted! http://tumblr.com/x4x17687nf and http://bit.ly/h4cgjl […]

  5. Rishona says:

    For sure I would do it! $300 is a TON of money for me (almost 1/2 of my bi-weekly pay)! :-D

  6. I’d step on a scale for $300, too, but the rest of it is a huge joke. Plus, there is nothing special about Special K cereal. This is totally laughable. I doubt they’d hit the number that it would take for me promote any of the crap they call food.

  7. DaDa Rocks! says:

    its not a number but a special k word. they just did it in NYC and those women are now in the national commercial too.

  8. James Poling says:

    I can’t believe how unhealthy the ingredients in Special K are.

  9. Kwana says:

    I don’t even like to get on the scale at my doctor’s office. Really HE should be paying ME! And 300.00 these companies really want so much for so little. The video etc… It’s a lot.

  10. gK says:

    i agree that this is a new low for soliciting bloggers to use their influence … to get on a scale? pretty sad. also what it stands for in the sense of women and body image. don’t even get me started …but i wonder if you still feel so against someone seeking your help in spreading a message if it weren’t for a consumer good, but rather to save mother nature or to feed hungry children, or some other good-feely type biz? just curious.

  11. It boggles the mind! Special K community? We don’t seem to have one of those in my town, thank goodness; we’re organic, crunchy-granola and I love it.

    I think the biggest point is that traditional business is struggling to find a way to move forward and engage in social media. The formula for business success and promotion have changed and the old guard are stymied at what to do. How about hiring some mommy bloggers at the exorbitant salaries that their execs get and ask them what to do!

  12. amyz5 says:

    ok, seriously. you must stop vowing to not pick on publicists, you are just so good at it. believe me, before i would ever put a campaign to market i would run it through your BSmeter!

  13. Jack says:

    I would be impressed if some of those bloggers worked for $10 an hour. It would be an improvement over their normal 300 hours of work for 6 pounds of sausage and an email saying thank you.

  14. Emily says:

    How much do I weigh? Only my I.V. nurse knows for sure.

    If you don’t get that reference…seriously, the money for the work afterwards doesn’t seem to be enough for one’s time. And I would weigh myself in public for 300.00. Hell, with my current financial situation, I’d do it naked. Anyone have a job opening for a phone sex operator?

  15. Seems like a lot to do for $300, but I’m sure that a ton of bloggers will jump at the chance. Which is why Special K has the audacity to even put such an offer on the table. Some companies just don’t “get it”.

    The campaign it’s self appears to be geared toward women and mom bloggers yet Special K is asking us to get on a scale? Who thought up this campaign? Sheesh!

  16. Mrs Pop says:

    For $300, I’d get on a scale.

    I thought actors in commercials, however, got paid more.

    And no, I would not do any of the rest of it, with the exception of a tweet or FB status update saying, “Easy $300. Getting on a scale in public. These people paying me are suckers.”

  17. Preston says:

    I’d get my fat gut on a scale for $300. I could write one post which automatically connects with my facebook account and sends out a tweet. But that would be it. Unfortunately, I live in NJ so unless they come from Philly, I’ll have to earn $300 elsewhere.

    And try to remember, Jessica, that $300 is a lot of money to some people. I think you tend to forget how comfortably wonderful you have it compared to the majority of your readers.

    • I don’t forget for a second how wonderful things are, and I’m saying that $300 isn’t a lot of money, it is. I wouldn’t spend $300 quickly or easily.

      $300 is a minuscule amount of money for this amount of work, and the marketers know it.

      • Dara says:

        So, yeah, I would spend $300 quickly AND easily. Been trying to buy the kids new mattresses. $300 would just about buy two, three if I bought them used.
        And it would pretty much double my monthly income.
        But I still wouldn’t do it.
        It’s not even the amount of work.
        It’s the fact that it’s a ridiculous and demeaning promotion for a product I could not, in good conscience, support.
        So the kids have to keep sleeping on their crap mattresses.

        I don’t think Jessica forgets that $300 is a lot of money. I just think she knows that integrity and valuing yourself is more valuable (to sound like a cheese Hallmark card)

  18. Lisa says:

    I was one of the reporters in Times Square and it was not a scale of numbers – it was merely a scale showing inspirational words for each individual. No one ever found out anyone’s real weight nor did they talk about weight. I think the event turned out great. The few hours I was there and the $300 stipend was definitely worth it for me.

  19. I think the real question these kind of pitches continue to ask is, “how much is it worth to you to lose readers and followers by sounding like a sell-out online.”

    For me, there isn’t a pricetag for my social capital. Well, okay. . . maybe there is. But I doubt I’ll get it. :)

  20. melissa says:

    never, ever would i stand on a scale, in public, for $300.
    and jessica, where you said that if mommy bloggers would stop doing stuff for free, companies would be forced to pay us? YES!! YES!! YES!! that’s pretty much what my last two posts are about.
    stop doing something for nothing, you’re lowering our worth.

  21. Wendy says:

    The reason why Special K does their weight loss thing is because the ingredients in it are meant to fill you up but have little nutritional value. Sure, you’ll “drop a jean size” in 2 weeks but you can do that just by eating ANY cereal, replacing ANY meal with say a Slim Fast or a protein bar. You aren’t losing weight, just water weight in reality. High fructose corn syrup is terrible for your body.

  22. WOW! I got the note, and was not offered $300.00 to participate… were only some people offered the $$$?

    The PR Teams says the scale only gives inspirational messages, not weight! If it was weight in pounds NO ONE would go for any amount of $$$:)

  23. Jessica, thanks for telling it like it is. This is really insulting, and as you say a “huge ask.”
    I declined, especially since I would have to sit in heavy traffic to get to the Grove–just not worth my time.

  24. […] favorite baddie was one for Kellogg’s Special K that a friend of mine received and then was blogged about by Jessica Gottlieb.  Clearly PR people need to figure out how to pitch in a more personal way that doesn’t […]

  25. I’d take the $300 and go buy me some Fruit Loops! (and one of those talking scales)

  26. […] for decades (hint: you’re unlikely to lose an inch with a sugary cereal) because they only mess with women and our low self esteem. What rankles bloggers who are concerned about healthy eating is when kids […]

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