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A Fascinating Bait and Switch for New Bloggers

spinning wheel money

At a recent women’s blogging conference one of the sponsor booths had a giant wheel that you’d spin to win a gift card. Well, sort of.

You see you’d spin the wheel and it would say something like $25 or $100 and then you’d get a bit of paper with a note about follow up to claim your gift card.

This morning many bloggers got the following email:

It was great to get the chance to chat with you at BlogHer13 about [redacted]! I’m writing because you were one of the lucky people to spin our wheel and win a $100 [redacted] Gift Card.

All you have to do is post about a [redacted] experience and email me a link to your blog post. We’d love to see your stories – whether you are an existing customers or looking to give us a try.

The prize is limited to the first 25 people who email me the link. There is still time to enter – the program ends on 8/31/2013.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Once again I find myself imagining the group that came up with this plan. At first I was imagining a room full of 23 year old publicists in fake Louboutins with blonde extensions. After much hair twirling they’d be all, “Mommy bloggers love contests and games so we could be like the Candy Crush of BlogHer!”

Or maybe it’s a group of middle aged guys in off the rack suits somewhere in the middle of country. With one hand on their balding heads and another on their paunches they try to imagine what the hell their wives do at a place with unicorn cakes and lots of wine. Since they’re past the days of fantasizing about their wives hot oil wrestling they think maybe it would be fun to have them compete against one another for half a grocery shopping.

At least one blogger reportedly has asked the brand to just supply the money she’d won. She made it clear that she doesn’t expect to have to work for what she’s already been promised. Let’s see how that one works out.

In each meeting someone is forward thinking and says, “Do you think anyone will be bugged that we tricked them into thinking that they won?” And there’s a chorus of No’s while the hair twirling, head patting and belly rubbing continues.

I’m sure that’s exactly how it was planned.

EDIT: It has been suggested that this may actually be an illegal contest. 


Photo via creative commons. 

12 thoughts on “A Fascinating Bait and Switch for New Bloggers”

  1. So has this been reported to the conference organizers yet? Usually they’d intervene on behalf of their attendees and make sure the sponsors would behave responsibly and fulfill their obligations. Sigh.

      1. If this was PeaPod, they were very upfront to me, at least, about their “contest” requiring kinds of hoops you described above and little value for the “winners.” A bad promotion, but they were transparent with me. Many booths had some sort of spin-to-win thing going on, so perhaps it was another brand.

  2. I am so sorry this happened to you. I am surprised that a company like this could get a conference booth…There are so many scams out there, I appreciate you posting a blog about this to warn other bloggers!

  3. That is like the company who offered me a deal on a new rifle if I wrote a favorable review about it. Before I’d even fired or handled it. Sorry, but I only write reviews on stuff I’ve actually used, and none of the people I have linked to have given me any type of kickback. I write about good service, bad service or no service.

    What that company did sounded like they were trying to bribe you in order to get themselves favorable reviews they could control.

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