Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sponsored Food Blogs

This is in lieu of the controversial Big Bad Blogger's issue on the world of food blogging (http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/sim/sim/view/20110122-315972/Please-Dont-Give-Blogging-a-Bad-Name)... and inspired by fellow blogger, Madz's recent blog post. 

I'm trying to keep an open mind regarding the restaurant owner and the blogger's side.  What if the restaurant owner just didn't like the review she received and started bad-mouthing the blogger's credibility?  What if the blogger really is an extortionist?  Or what if there's a third person behind all of this and is using the blogger's post to extort the restaurant owner?  All I have are mere speculations right now. 

It raises the issue of credibility and ethics in writing a food review.  Honestly, I wasn't troubling myself with both the former and latter because this blog is all about appreciation of food.  How can I bad mouth food?  Unless it is adulterated with some kind of poison, I rarely have something bad to say about any meal at all. 

Let me equate sponsored food reviews with prescribing medications.  Pharmaceutical companies have been giving all types of perks to physicians ever since time immemorial.  The more frequent they are giving these perks, the more the physician becomes familiar with that brand of drug and eventually knows nothing else.  And the doctors start prescribing this brand of medication even though it's hard on the patient's pocket. 

It is also the same with politicians.  When people find out that they have accepted "gifts", it dampens their credibility and they can get into a lot of trouble. 

Sponsored food reviews make it easier for the food blogger to "discover" good food. Restaurant owners make it convenient for food bloggers to write about a new food experience.  Unfortunately, it may lead to blog posts that are biased and misleading. It may lead the blogger to write a review out of indebtedness.  They may testify to something and make it seem to be what they really are not. 

There's nothing wrong with being invited to discover a new restaurant dish.  It only becomes indecent when we start writing crappy posts just because we are thankful of the free stuff. 

I never knew blogs has turned out to be this serious.  What a downer.


  1. sad indeed! tsk tsk! but that thing is inevitable. you know whatever it is hot, they would definitely ride on that to earn!

  2. Well explained examples sis. In my only experience with free dining so far, even though the food was for free, it didn't stop me from writing my true impressions (good thing their food and service were really good), and I plan my food reviews to stay that way, if ever there will be more invites in the future.

    The manager of the restaurant said naman na there's nothing wrong with truthful reviews and not all bloggers or critics will 100% like the food, so that was a breather for me.

    I guess if ever I experience invites in the future where the owner would only want positive things said about the event or their food, I would just decline than be indebted in exchange for free food. That's really degrading kasi.

  3. I seldom attend food launches or events. I dont enjoy it. Kaya unless hotel buffet yan o resort experience, at kung afford ko naman, DEADMA ang invite. :D

    I just dont like the idea of FORCING the blogger to write, whether it's a good or bad feedback. Lalo na if it's only for a free food. Wag na. Ang cheap.

  4. i haven't been invited by any restaurant to review their food and that's fine with me. i just visit any restaurant/cafe that catches my interest (or curiosity for that matter), pay for the food, observes everything about the establishment, then go on make the review. at least this way i am not forced to say something that i don't mean, which inevitably becomes the case on sponsored blogs.