I’m bribed again to deceive you. I won’t do it!

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By Chuck Woodbury
The bribes keep coming — pitches from slimy PR people asking me to post their stories on RVtravel.com for a price. “We’ll furnish an article, and you publish it and we’ll send you $50, or $100 . .  or more.”

The article will be sponsored by a company. It will look to you very much like a legitimate news or feature article, except it’s advertising in disguise.

For example, it might be titled Ten Tips about Buying RV Insurance. And it might even be helpful. It will quote someone from XYZ Insurance Company. The article’s purpose is to try to influence the reader to click through to that company’s website to learn more (and hopefully “buy”). 

This practice is epidemic. Many, if not most, online publishers take the money. It’s easy, practically no work. 


You are reading this kind of thing all day long. It should make you mad. It does me!

I get pitched once or twice a day. For the record, I don’t bite. If I do, I’m lying to you. This is dishonest and unethical. Here’s the latest pitch, offering me $100: I could probably request $150 and get it.  For five minutes’ work! All I need to do is add a link to an existing article on our website. Here’s the pitch exactly as it arrived:

Hi Chuck,
Would you be interested in placing a text link within an existing post on RVTravel.com. Basically, I am interested in placing a text link on just one of your existing posts. I have around $100 to work with. Would that be sufficient enough to place the text link on this page? https://rvtravel.com/dealing-with-rv-repairs-when-moneys-tight/
 
I’m more than happy to send you more details, but I wanted to send you a basic outline first. Please think it over and get back to me when you have a spare moment or two.
 
Thanks in advance,
Jackson.
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Melanie Kite
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Melanie Kite

This is one of the reasons I support this newsletter. Keep up the good work.

Duncan
Guest
Duncan

Hello
As a new subscriber I am very pleased to know that this site is supplying current, honest and first hand information to it’s readers. Please continue with your ideas and beliefs as it will be this that sustains you as a true supplier of reliable information.
Duncan (ON, Canada)

John Hiler
Guest
John Hiler

A question, why are you most qualified to sort out the wheat from the chaff? Do you have special training? How do you know that some little thing you are asked to promote may be of great importance later? But, it’s your bandstand so you can certainly choose the bands…

Eric Kaminsky
Guest
Eric Kaminsky

I am a news junkie and every day I get emails from news organizations. I am very careful who I subscribe to and only seek info from well known and (hopefully) respected publishers, both print and broadcast. Many have “stories” that are really advertisements but they are clearly marked as sponsored and enjoy a space that is off to the side so there is no doubt that they are advertising. Are they dishonest? Don’t you think that readers can be discerning and realize they are ads, especially when so labeled? As a reader I understand that love of work alone… Read more »

Moaboy
Guest
Moaboy

I’m glad u don’t include these types of articles, and commend u accordingly, but there is nothing morally wrong with the guy asking.
Everybody is trying to sell something, to make a living and obviously to a certain extent u have to accept some amount or form of advertising to stay in business, unless one is independently wealthy.
I wouldn’t consider it a bribe per se, and it may be frustrating to u to have to put up with this type of sales calls, but I don’t think it should make u angry.
All the best, and keep up the good work!

Onwego
Guest
Onwego

Here’s how you know I know nothing about journalism: Could you take the money, embed the link, and identify it as sponsored? We’re all grown-ups here, and doing this would support the newsletter and leave it up to us to practice reader emptor. If the sponsor conditions payment on not doing this, then they’re “slimy”, indeed, and you’re to be commended for acting accordingly.

Marilyn R
Guest
Marilyn R

Soon I’ll be able to pay a few $$’s (house is selling!) to help out with the newsletter so that you can continue to follow the high ground. Not always an easy choice and I thank you.

Karen Carter
Guest
Karen Carter

Thanks for staying strong, it is quite annoying to click and realize you got a sales ad vs real user data with tried solutions from folks who rv themselves. Keep up the good work and hoping your newsletter keeps growing.

Tom G
Guest
Tom G

I’ve seen “news articles” like you describe and have always thought “is this a paid ad?” While some of the info may be useful it always gravitates back to “buy from us.” A very deep and sincere “Thanks” for not going that route. Earning [?] money to help pay the bills is always nice but the line has to be drawn somewhere.