Paid Reviews: Harmless Commentary or Selling Out?

What’s your opinion on paid reviews? Do you think it’s okay to accept payment to review a product on your blog, or not?

I think that paid reviews are okay, as long as it’s an honest review, and the payment does not influence you. I think of it like this: They’re paying for a chance to have their product reviewed, because it may not be otherwise. You, as a blogger, are receiving additional incentive to write a review. If the company demands a positive review, then you’re just being yet another marketing robot for them.

I’m not against paid reviews, so long as their honest reviews, and you don’t post too many of them (as opposed to normal posts). However, I’d like to know what you think of them. Paid reviews are a controversial topic, and I would like to hear your opinions.

  • Sean Kelly

    I think paid reviews are perfectly fine. Just like you said, it is important that the payment does not influence the honesty in the review.

    I see it very similar to celebrities doing advertisements. If we think that those are ethical, where the celebrity is paid to say scripted things about the product, why is it not ethical to be paid to review a product in an unscripted fashion?

  • Matt

    Good analogy. Well said.

    Paid reviews are, in my opinion, more ethical than scripted celebrity ads…so long as they are honest reviews. The biggest problem, though, is that if someone sees that a review is paid, they tend to trust it less. However, here is my thought: If the author is disclosing the fact that the review is paid, shouldn’t that make it more reputable? They care enough to say that the review is sponsored, instead of hiding the fact. Doesn’t that seem more reputable to you?