Advertising is not word of mouth marketing

I’m going to bite and actually blog about this because I want to shed some light on how bloggers are screwing themselves for a few dollars as well as debunk a claim on WOM by advertisers.

An article in the WSJ has me laughing this morning. It’s about search company Apogee, who’s using Pay Per Post to pay bloggers to write about their site.

“How much?”, you might ask. Yeah, when I read this I LOL’ed too:

n January, it agreed to pay 20 bloggers a month around $10 each — plus a fee to PayPerPost of around $2.50 per blogger — to write a review about Apogee’s blog, which the company uses to drive business to its services.

$12.50? Are you kidding me? You spent years crafting posts, building a loyal reader base and are willing to take $12.50 a month to kill your credibility? It gets better:

Paying for reviews is like word-of-mouth marketing, says Mr. Leake. “I’m inviting people to a discussion.”

No, Mr. Leake, it’s not “like” word of mouth marketing. In fact, paying for posts is as close to word of mouth marketing as is the billboard on the New Jersey Turnpike or the ad at the subway. Are people “talking” about it? Maybe, but not likely. Is it credible? Hardly.

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