Don’t wait for me Argentina

Sung to the tune from the Broadway play of the 1970s, “Don’t wait for me, Argentina…”

Thanks to the “Wines of Argentina team” I can plainly state that more than three read this blog. Also thanks to the “team” I can plainly state that marketers are sometimes funny, if not downright unscrupulous—or maybe they think that bloggers are unscrupulous—or maybe some bloggers are.

Here’s one way to calculate the scruples of a blogger: if a blogger writes this month about the white wines of Torrontes, be careful. You see, the blogger may be writing about that subject for the chance to win a free trip to Argentina, courtesy of the “Wines of Argentina team.”

Get it?

No?

Here’s how it works. The “Wines of Argentina team” sends the following email to bloggers:

“We’ve seen your wine blog and would like to invite you to write a post about Argentine Torrontes and participate in our Blogger of the Month contest. You will have the chance to win a free trip to Argentina! Here is a link for more info http://www.winesofargentina.org/en/bloggerofthemonth
Looking forward to reading your blog post!”

The email is signed by the Wines of Argentina team.

If the “team” made an effort to read my blog it would know that I am a rather cantankerous old journalist who takes ethics extremely seriously, and that I would likely consider this “contest” a breach in ethics.

Here’s why: a journalist neither writes a story for a marketing entity nor does a journalist write a story to enter a contest for freebies.

I know that the official Argentine language is Spanish, and I know that there’s a large Italian contingency in Argentina that speaks a kind of SpanItalian.

Still, every member of the team should know what this means: quid pro quo.

This situation reminds me of an offer made to bloggers concerning a wine refrigerator and how to get yourself one. In my view, that, too, was an ethical breach in the waiting.

Now I know that there are some in the blogosphere who consider my attitude “old school.” I know because some bloggers have told me so after I’ve pointed out what I consider their actions as skirting on thin ethical ice. But I refuse to back down, and so I repeat to my three other readers: if you read a blog entry this month about Torrontes, remember that old “grain of salt.”

Copyright Thomas Pellechia
March 2011. All rights reserved.

Lifting a blog entry without the author’s permission (and without recompense) is a copyright infringement–period.

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