Over the last few weeks, a debate has arisen in the wine blogging community regarding blogging and its credibility as an information source. What is the blogger’s obligation to his/her readers? This has all come to a head this last week when a well known winery contacted a group of wine bloggers and asked them to review a new wine. All in all, not an unusual request. Where things take a left turn is that the winery stated that in order to receive the wine, the bloggers MUST write a review and post it within four days.
As a wine PR & marketing professional I also send my client’s wine as samples to journalists and bloggers on a frequent basis. In my experience, there is a kind of unwritten rule that the reviewer will give the sample a fair assessment, but there is NO obligation on their part to publish a review. I would never ask such a thing. I may encourage them to see if I can move them in that direction, but I would never come right out and make it a caveat for receiving the wine. Most journalists, I think, would be offended by the very notion.
So the question for us wine professionals is: How does this affect the credibility of wine blogging in general and how will this affect wine PR moving forward?
A link to the debate can be found on Tom Wark’s blog, Fermentation.