Lack of Blogger Transparency

The relationship fashion brands have with bloggers can greatly profit both the brand and the blogger…as long as it’s done correctly. As Emily discussed in her blogpost Transparency in Social Media a couple weeks ago, the need for transparency in social media is ever-growing. Transparency is quite important in fashion blogging.  As the article Fashion Blogging has a Transparency Problem discusses, bloggers accept payments from brands in exchange for wearing products for events such as fashion week. The goal of this exchange is for bloggers to be photographed in designer brands by street-style photographers. There seems to be a tendency for fashion bloggers to keep the business side of their blog fairly quiet, meaning they won’t always talk about a partnership with a brand. While there is no problem with brand-blogger partnerships, there is a problem with not fully disclosing these partnerships to the readers. Bloggers can be shy about discussing these partnerships in fear of losing readership trust, but it is the blogger’s responsibility to distinguish the difference between an editorial piece and advertising.

The article Who Am I Wearing? Funny You Should Ask. discusses the partnership between bloggers and brands in further detail. The bloggers paid to wear brands for fashion week street-style photographers is increasing, leaving the tradition of showing off “true indie spirit” behind. Bloggers can earn up to $2000 to $10,000 for a single appearance in a brand’s product. The agency Socialyte managed about 200 placements for 18 fashion brands and retailers, including lines from Vera Wang, Pink & Pepper and Pour La Victoire at fashion week. But few people are aware that bloggers and what appear to be random posers are modeling products for a price.

Blogger Natalie Joos utilizes her growing popularity on her blog Tales of Endearment to promote brands she admires. When she posed for photographers in from of the Lincoln Center earlier in September, she identified her dress as a piece by Australian designer Karla Spetic. It was not until she was pressed that she admitted the piece had been lent to her by Spetic’s showroom.

The partnership between brands and bloggers truly can be a positive one, as long as the partnership is properly disclosed. It is only fair to the readers, who are more likely to have a negative reaction to being deceived than being told and explained to about a partnership.

-posted by Megan Learn

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