General Mills Recruits "Mommy Bloggers"

"We don't tell them not to write" about bad experiences, "but most want to only write positive things," said Stacy Becker of Coyne Public Relations. She was talking about General Mills' new blogger network, "MyBlogSpark." Coyne built the network of "more than 900 bloggers -- over 80 percent are moms," and General Mills will "feed them free products and enable them to run giveaways for their audiences." General Mills requires participating bloggers to "contact the MyBlogSpark team before posting any content ... if you feel you cannot write a positive post regarding the product or service." The Federal Trade Commission recently indicated that it may require "clearer disclosure from bloggers who review products." Of the "half-dozen product review posts from MyBlogSpark members" reviewed by Adweek, none included "mention of General Mills." With "moms" controlling "up to $2 trillion in annual spending," companies including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Wal-Mart already have "mommy blogger" outreach programs.