Friday, June 13, 2008


I just received the following email that has made me very angry. Can you believe that some company is asking a cancer patient to pitch their product? Without even offering me a chance to use the product to see if it's useful or not? Or better yet, pay me to advertise their product? Unbelievable!


I am the webmaster of _____

I was reading your blog and I see you have a very impressive way of describing things. The information you provide is very helpful. So I was wondering if you could take a look at our product XXXXX and write a review about and post it in your blog.

I would really be interested to know if you would be able to post the review in your blog with links to our site.

Sandy Williams

Here is my reply:

Dear Ms. Williams,
First, I do not use my blog to advertise products. If I did, I would be using
Google's AdSense and make some money off my blog. Or I would have a "donate"
button where people could transfer money to a Paypal account. Even though I
could certainly use the money since I'm in active cancer treatment, on
sabbatical and a single mom, I started my blog to gain support from friends and
family for breast cancer, not to make money. And, there are other cancer
bloggers out there who are in worst financial straits than I am so I don't feel
that it is ethical for me to compete with them since their needs are greater
than mine.

Second, you did not even offer me the product to test in order to write a
review. This strikes me as unethical to write some kind of review without even
trying out the product. Why should I write a review for some product I have no
experience of? As an academic, I write reviews of books that I read that relate
to my profession - but when I am asked to write the review, the publishers send me a free copy of the book. The goal is to evaluate that book's contribution to furthering scholarly knowledge and not necessarily to advertise that book.

Finally, you did not offer me money to write a review. Why should I take my
precious time, which is in short supply right now because of daily radiation
treatments, to write about a product I do not know? I need to use my valuable
time to work (which does pay me money), spend quality time with my son (I have
metastatic breast cancer and my son is young and needs me), and concentrate all
of my efforts to fighting this disease.

In fact, you've already taken too much of my time already. Obviously, my answer
is no.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Dee--I get a lot of these too.

Most of them I ignore.

A few of them, I answer.

Some of them I make fun of on my blog--don't feel like you can't post the name of the product, if you feel like it, after all, THEY contacted YOU.

The upside to this is that the world is starting to take blogs seriously.

The downside is that we are going to get the same junk e-mails that mainstream journalists get.