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John-in-KC

Sponsored Blog Posts at Scouting Magazine

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And one no longer remembers the tremendous amount of advertising/sponsorships of Boy's Life of years past?  I would say about half the pages were advertisements.  So now that it has gone digital, BSA can't do that anymore?  

 

I think what they object to, Stosh, is that a sponsored article or blog post is somehow "selling out" or dishonest", despite being clearly labelled as sponsored.

 

I just find it odd that after years of this happening the recent candy ad seemed to ignite the indignation. Also, if clearly marked, I don't see how it is dishonest. 

Edited by Krampus

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Advertising generally is not allowed to use the same font/typeface as editorial content.  It is usually bordered and set off from same, in print or in digital.

 

Doing what Bryan did, which was surrendering his editorial space to paid content, is what I object to.

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It's a blog. It is like when Carson and McMahon used to do commercials on the Tonight Show. No one thought anything less of them for doing a commercial as part of their show. Gotta pay the bills somehow.

 

Or do you think less of Carson and his lack of integrity too?

 

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Advertising generally is not allowed to use the same font/typeface as editorial content.  It is usually bordered and set off from same, in print or in digital.

 

Doing what Bryan did, which was surrendering his editorial space to paid content, is what I object to.

That's the point. I agree with John. There is a difference between an ad and a "sponsored blog post" that is in the "voice" of a BSA employee or Scouting magazine.

 

As for some of the irrelevant analogies that have been mentioned... Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon were entertainers. We as a society have come to accept that entertainers and other celebrities hawk products. "Bryan" is supposed to be providing us with information and viewpoints about Scouting. If he really feels that ABC Rifle Company makes the best rifles or XYZ Candy Company provides the best fundraising program, that's fine, let him write a column about it WITHOUT ACCEPTING PAYMENT for it from the company in question. (And that goes for his employer as well, which is the entity that is actually getting the payment.) But that's not what's happening here. Bryan shilling for products tends to reduce the credibility of his "non sponsored" columns as well.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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@@NJCubScouter you can't dismiss an analogy as irrelevant just because you disagree with it. 

 

The point was that in both cases you have people using their show (or column) to hock a product. That's pretty analogous. If you want to quibble about entertainers versus bloggers, feel free. That's not the distinction I draw.

 

If you look at the WSJ, Time, Newsweek and other publications you will see sponsored ads no and again. As long as it is clearly labelled I don't see this as selling out. We still live in a free market society, for now, so making money to pay for the cost of printing the publication is fair game. As long as there's no intent to deceive I don't see how this is unethical or a violation of any alleged code.

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If we sold heads of lettuce and Ranch Dressing,  folks would complain about the species of lettuce (Ice Berg, Bibb, Butter, Red Leaf, Romaine....) and brand of dressing.

It is candy.  It is See's candy.   It pays for Scouting.  Should we insist that the staff in Irving sell more than the rest of us to prove their Loyalty?   

I want to see our (and they are "our") staff promoting Scouting and the activities (camping, hiking, canoeing, etc.) of Scouting to prove their value and worth.

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Every example you cited is a for-profit company.  Carson was in business to make money for himself.  Ditto McMahon.  WSJ and Time exist to add to the shareholders bottom line of Newscorp and Time-Warner, respectively.

 

Bryan is one of the principal public faces of the Boy Scouts of America, a non-profit corporation whose purpose is "The purpose of this corporation shall be to promote, through organization and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using methods which are now in common use by the Boy Scouts."

(source:  http://www.scoutingbsa.org/Council_Info/Leadership/Scouting_Mission/Mission.html)

Unlike firearms, museums, camping supplies, and even coca-cola, this was a sponsored post.  That, to me, implies express approval of the product.  In most cases, products in magazines have a caveat by the publisher that an ad does not constitute an endoresement.

So ... I ask again:  How does explicitly endorsing the sale of candy promote the values of the Corporation?

@@NJCubScouter you can't dismiss an analogy as irrelevant just because you disagree with it. 

 

The point was that in both cases you have people using their show (or column) to hock a product. That's pretty analogous. If you want to quibble about entertainers versus bloggers, feel free. That's not the distinction I draw.

 

If you look at the WSJ, Time, Newsweek and other publications you will see sponsored ads no and again. As long as it is clearly labelled I don't see this as selling out. We still live in a free market society, for now, so making money to pay for the cost of printing the publication is fair game. As long as there's no intent to deceive I don't see how this is unethical or a violation of any alleged code.

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The values and morality of a corporation whether it be a for-profit or not-for-profit are the same.  Their focus is the only difference.  Both can use the same marketing processes for accomplishing their goals and mission.  Both Chik-fil-A and Hobby Lobby are both noted for their strong Christian values yet both are for-profit corporations.  J. C. Penney was once this way before the founder passed away.  Penny would not hire anyone unless they were Christian.

 

So the BSA can use any marketing method they wish because it has nothing to do with their for-profit or not-for-profit values.

 

And up until a few years ago, all #12 Dutch Ovens sold by Lodge had the BSA logo printed on the box.  What does that do to promote the values of the BSA as well?  No one said a thing about that endorsement for a for-profit corporation by the BSA.

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Every example you cited is a for-profit company.  Carson was in business to make money for himself.  Ditto McMahon.  WSJ and Time exist to add to the shareholders bottom line of Newscorp and Time-Warner, respectively.

 

Non-profits need to raise money too! Whether the money is to cover profits or operating costs it should not matter. There's nothing in free market economics that differentiates between for-profits and non-profits.

 

 

Bryan is one of the principal public faces of the Boy Scouts of America, a non-profit corporation whose purpose is "The purpose of this corporation shall be to promote, through organization and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using methods which are now in common use by the Boy Scouts."

 

So Bryan is helping to promote the purpose of BSA by helping units work with "other agencies" to raise money to support their (the unit's) program and the overall goals of Scouting. I see nothing in that statement that says, "Thou shall not accept money from sponsors".

 

 

Unlike firearms, museums, camping supplies, and even coca-cola, this was a sponsored post.  That, to me, implies express approval of the product.

So did McMahon really give his approval for Alpo? Did he even own a dog? Rhetorical, so forget that.

 

BSA allowing rifle or popcorn companies to sponsor ads is just as much as an endorsement of their product as using Bryan's space. Maybe Bryan eats the candy. Maybe he has more popcorn tins in his house than a hoarder. Maybe he protects that house with his BSA OA Henry Rifle.

 

How does Bryan's endorsement cheapen his opinions or commentary? Are you going to question his credibility when he advises you to take WRFA prior to going to Philmont?

Edited by Krampus

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It's a blog. It is like when Carson and McMahon used to do commercials on the Tonight Show. No one thought anything less of them for doing a commercial as part of their show. Gotta pay the bills somehow.

 

Or do you think less of Carson and his lack of integrity too?

But you have noticed that talk show hosts don't do that kind of advertising much anymore right? And why? Because it is considered problematic now days for various reasons.

 

I don't have a real problem with the idea of sponsored posts as long as they are clearly marked, and not in "Bryan's voice". The hard part is how does Bryan make sure it's not in "his voice"? I'm not sure. The post in question I think is pretty clearly not in his voice, but not everyone agrees with that.

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