Bloggers have a number of intangible assets but arguably the most valuable of all is their integrity. Much like virginity you get to lose your integrity just once. Today some bloggers are flirting with a loss of integrity after promoting the #KFCKidsMeals hashtag and trying to convince their audiences that KFC has healthy meals for kids.
Of course twitter is too smart for the faux low calorie message
— Vera Sweeney (@VeraSweeney) March 23, 2013
I suspect that had the fact that it’s a low calorie meal not been pushed (and not only by Vera) none of the following would have ensued. You see Vera talked about the fact that “we all have a fast food night”… well, we all don’t… but many people do, and that’s okay.
Not all calories are created equal. It’s easy to ignore the Special K’s of the world who have been preying on women to pinch an inch 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 are trotted out as guinea pigs and sold a mound of sugar in a juice packet and some soggy green beans coated in MSG.
— Leah Segedie (@bookieboo) March 23, 2013
And a robust discussion ensued.
Good to know that KFC has healthy kids options. Would love to hear what the healthier adult options are too! #kfckidsmeals
— Jennie LeAnne (@BargainBlessing) March 24, 2013
— Meagan (@NcCarterFamily) March 23, 2013
A quick search of instragram shows this image.
This is all great right? Junkets like this are what make bloggers successful and when a big brand gives a group of moms and their kids a swanky vacation it’s a good thing.
Or is it?
Well, junkets are great when bloggers are given red carpet treatment (who wouldn’t want that?) and they’re a fantastic way for them to get hands on with a product or service that they can share with their communities. Most often there is messaging that the brand is looking to get out to the readers like when Hyundai wants people to know that their CUV is loaded with tech or Ford wants folks to know that they are pioneers in safety. The problems come when bloggers are spoon-fed misleading information and no one questions the source. The problem comes when bloggers are made to look like liars, immediately diminishing that very valuable intangible asset – integrity.
Touting this low calorie meal for kids is an absurdity.
If you do a quick search for Capri Sun ingredients you’ll come to a FAQ page by Kraft that discusses their mold issue, their use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (which was recently also called Corn Sugar) and a total lack of identification of “natural flavors”.
This infographic from Kim give you all the nasty details about the ingredients in your KFC kids meal.
And I asked Trisha Haas from MomDot.com what she thought of the whole kerfuffle she said:
My curiosity stemmed from the fact that a fast food brand would be brazen enough to invite children to push a mothers instinct out of the way. This isn’t about privatized choices but when you take the steps to advocate a brand you have to really believe , or atleast be willing to defend, them. I think it brings up the important question of who we are aligning ourselves with as a voice. Short term benefits with long term repercussions.
Today I’m not sure there were many short term benefits for the families that took a vacation on KFC’s dime. Marketers want the mom bloggers at their events because the mom bloggers are smart, savvy and influential. Marketers are going to have to wake up and remember that they’re dealing with a smart, savvy and influential community.