Food Bloggers Bitch About Getting Free Food


Oh it's been a while since the "blogosphere" - to coin a humorous and long-dead term - got their panties in a twist over some stunt a brand pulled. But these "kerfuffles" - to coin yet another humorous term - are always great fodder for a good 'ol internet bitch-fest.

So what's all the hubbub about? In August, ConAgra Foods, parent to the Marie Callender's brand of frozen foods, invited food bloggers to a New York restaurant they were told was owned by TLC Ultimate Cake Off Host George Duran and where they would receive a special, four course meal.

But instead of a meal cooked by George Duran, the bloggers were served frozen lasagna from Marie Callender's. Hidden cameras were in place to record diner's reactions. As it turned out, about 62 percent of the food bloggers actually liked the dish. But they were miffed and claimed they had been misled.

It's not like this was any sort of new stunt. Folgers Coffee, Pizza Hut and Domino's have done similar food replacement stunts. But somehow this time it all went awry. Several food bloggers including FoodMayhem and Mom Confessionals slammed the event. These "truth-seeking journalists," a term the New York Times used to describe how these food bloggers see themselves, called the stunt a sham and complained about being served highly caloric, sodium-infused processed food.

The brand has apologized saying, "It was never our intention to put any bloggers or their guests in an uncomfortable position and for that we are sorry." As well, ConAgra has offered to pay the bloggers any cab fare of baby-sitting expenses they may have incurred.

For a contrarian point of view this just goes to show in today's social media-fueled world bitchy bloggers will complain about anything given the chance. This stunt was no different than any number of previous blind tests. Why is it now such a big deal a few people complained? Oh wait. God dammed social media! That's who to blame. It's given a mouthpiece to every idiot on the planet with an opinion. That said the agency, Ketchum PR, should have known there could have been backlash and cautioned the brand there might be a response like this. It's just kind of sad we've gotten to the point where we ungratefully bitch about a free meal.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 8-11   Click to Comment   
Topic: Guerilla, Opinion, Promotions, Social, Weblogs