Since I started Mum’s the Word back in October of last year, I’ve been sent some really fab products to try out and I can honestly say that I’ve not had a bad word to say about any of them. All of my reviews have been pretty positive, but they’ve always been honest (anyone who read this review that I did for BDT will know that I don’t pull my punches if I think something is crap). I take my time, use a product extensively before writing about it and always try to give a well-researched and balanced opinion.
But what do you do when you receive a product that’s so dire that it doesn’t even do what it says on the box? I could quite easily write a review about how it claimed to last five days, but barely lasted two hours, but would this be the right thing to do? My Mum taught me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all, but then surely a negative review is just as useful to my readers as a positive one? I certainly wouldn’t want any of you to waste your money on this product. I also risk alienating the PR who sent me the item, with whom I’ve built a good relationship over the months but firstly, I’m only being honest and secondly, this blog means more to me than a few free products.
What would you do, readers? Would you name and shame without a second thought, would you email the PR and tell them that you couldn’t possibly say anything positive and ask them what you should do, or would you just keep schtum and hope no one remembers that they sent you the damn things in the first place?
I have to say, my instinct is to tell you all. I’m often at my funniest and most entertaining when I’m being scathing about something, and I have a shit load of scathing things to say about this one. I know a lot of my fellow bloggers have been or are in PR, so what would you want me to do, if you were looking at it from the other side of the coin?
If any of you have any advice, I’d love to hear it. In the meantime, do me a favour and don’t buy any new beauty products…I may be sharing a very off-putting story very soon!
6 thoughts on “What Would You Do?”
I would show the PR people what you are about to publish and give them/the company a chance to provide a written response (which you could add as a footnote if appropriate).
Do the review, send a copy to your PR contact and give them a day before you publish. The whole point of getting things reviewed is to get honest opinions on them.
If a PR company asks you to review something I think they have to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth. I think with reviewing comes a responsibility to be honest. Yes it is subjective but readers factor that in. If honesty makes you persona non grata with that particular PR then they can find someone else.
I wrote and published a negative review. Was (rather rudely) asked to take it down by the company. I would contact the PR first and explain your problems. Honesty is the best policy, but naming and shaming generates a lot of earache!!
Using my powers of deduction here, I think I’ve just been sent the same product. I also know the lovely lady PR that you’re talking about. I had a fragrance a few months ago that actually was nice in the bottle but putrid on me due to it’s mix with my natural ‘aroma’ and I also had a tiny reaction. I e-mailed her and sais that I didn’t think that I could review it in a positive light so could I duck out of it and she was absolutely fine.
I absolutely think you should write the review. They have asked you to write a review, if their product is pants that’s their fault not yours!