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Simon
Simon

TreeHugger does paid blog posts without a proper disclosure

TreeHugger does paid blog posts without a proper disclosure

It probably first started when Discovery Communications bought TreeHugger earlier this summer. That meant the start of a more commercialized TreeHugger. Cause in the end all that matters for Discovery Communications is that they make money from TreeHugger. So doing paid blog posts wasn’t probably a hard choice to make.

But what exactly is paid blog posts then? Well, paid blog posts are actually advertisement posted as a regular post on a blog. Most blogs that does this usually disclose that the post in question is a paid advertisement.

I personally don’t see anything wrong with TreeHugger doing a few paid blog posts now and then. It’s sad that they do, but it’s not a problem, at least not for me.

The problem is that they do not tell their visitors that what they read is an advertisement from a company that has paid the author to post about certain things. And that is just stupidity and disrespect for your readers who trust that you give them truthful content that isn’t mixed in some way.

TreeHugger needs to get it acts together and properly disclose that the blog post you are currently reading is a paid advertisement. Otherwise TreeHuggers good reputation is at stake.

Here are two examples of paid blog posts on TreeHugger for those who are interested:

- In An Absolut World...Everything is Downloadable

- In An Absolut World: David Graas

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Wow you caught them! I don't think Treehugger is that broke to do this. WHy. I think its because they want to appeal to the masses and by having some major sponsors to support them to get a lot of money. But the masses don't really care about the green movement. Increasingly the masses are caring but you don't have sell like this. The green movement is small but growing exponentially. It does not need corporate sponsors like Bud Light! They could at least look for an organic wine to promote!!! (I am still going to email, mike at treehugger I think it is, for a link trade!)

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I have been writing the Absolut Downloads posts and have a few comments about this post. I started working on the Absolut series before I even knew about the Discovery purchase; Treehugger has never made any pretense about being a not-for-profit site and this has nothing to do with Discovery. Absolut approached us with their concept of "visions of an absolut world" which was is actually pretty interesting and unusual, where the public can contribute visions. Absolut wanted to seed it with a few slicker visions and came to us and a few other bloggers. My first post on it, which you have linked to, said: "TreeHugger was asked to participate and, of course, contribute a blog. We had some fun with a theme we have been following for a while on TreeHugger: downloadable designs." We set up a completely separate site to be part of their "vision", clearly marked with Absolut, and I picked a theme that I have been following for a couple of years, which I now had an opportunity to build a site around and explain the idea. Whenever I did a post on TreeHugger proper to tell people about the other site, I clearly mark it with "absolut downloads" in the title and link. Did we disclose enough? should we have said in big letters on every post "this is paid for by Absolut"? I weighed that and thought it overkill; we are a for profit site and everything we do is paid for by the ads. I thought I disclosed enough in every post by putting them in the title. Treehugger has always trod a difficult line, trying to do good and attract people to the movement while making a living at it. This was our very first shot at something like this within the blog and we thought a long time about what we would talk about and how we would deliver it. It has offended some, but I hope that being over there in the Absolute visions website may have attracted more. Regards, Lloyd Alter

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By now treehugger seemed good to me. I will check this more clearly i think. I wasn't on the page for a long time so i don't really know what they are doing right now. Anyway thanks for the information.

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