In a new example of cash for comment, it has been revealed that the City of Milwaukee is paying a Milwaukee blogger, Erin Leffelman, to promote the city and its attractions, all without the need to disclosure the relationship on the site.Okay, so she's cuter than I am. Point taken. But I can write, and I'd be willing to shill for a new computer and camera and access to places.
The USA Today report states that Leffelman is recieving a year’s worth of high-speed Internet access, $1,700 in computer and camera equipment and free access to the places she is expected to review as part of the deal.
A visit to the site by The Blog Herald failed to find any notice or disclosure from Leffelman of the financial arrangement with the city (although it must be noted that search facilities were not available on site either). Milwaukee spokesman David Fantle told USA Today that the arrangement was “a hands-off relationship, and if Erin has a negative experience, we expect her to record that”, but made no mention of the fact that Leffelman has hidden the relationship from viewers, and hiding such a relationship can only lead to speculation that not only is this a case of cash for comment, but one, although not through legal obligation, leads to favorable reviews based on the need to continue an ongoing financial relationship with city.
Bring it on, please.
In her first entry on the blog, Erin wrote,
Welcome to my blog. Here I'm going to spread the word about the kickin outdoor recreation scene in and around Milwaukee, and along with that, I'm hopefully going to inspire people – in Milwaukee and elsewhere – to get out there, be active, try new things and ultimately enjoy their lives a bit more.I guess she left out the part about being remunerated by the city.
I have a decent blogging track record... sort'a. So, I'll blog about Portsmouth -- or maybe all of Hampton Roads (hey, I will not even need to change the name of the blog). Here's what I want from the city or whoever is going to provide the remuneration:
- A tricked out Dell Dimension XPS Gen 5 (pinging in at a mere $4,723)
- A basic Olympus camera... EVOLT E-300 ($900 retail)
So, any sponsors out there?