According to WWD (also known asWomen’s Wear Daily), yes. A recent article highlighted the “pay to play” trend in fashion blogging (with a tone of barely constrained hysteria), with the article To Pay Or Not To Pay: A Closer Look At The Business of Blogging.
Here’s a quote.
There’s been some backlash from designers and brands as they question having to pay bloggers from $5,000 up to $50,000 to work with them. Skeptics question whether paying bloggers results in significant return on investment, especially in comparison to a magazine or television ad. Besides, some brands contend, if bloggers are journalists, journalists aren’t paid for writing about a company.
The article goes on to discuss the nature of bloggers and the fashion industry, and talk at length about the distinction between bloggers and journalists a line that is, indeed, mucked up with money changes hands (although traditional journalism has struggled with the line as well, as advertising dollars might color how a story is shared).
In response, the blog Independent Fashion Bloggers wrote An Open Letter to Journalists and Brands About Compensation, which states:
While the numbers seem outrageous to those who would be grateful for a $50,000 annual salary, $50,000 for a campaign, is not a big budget in the advertising world. $50,000 would buy a one page spread in a magazine with a circulation of 1 million per month. Also, in magazines, there would be no data of how many people saw, where they were, what time of day and compared that with who bought, where digital campaigns can provide data to track.
In addition, The Independent Fashion Blog end with this:
Please interview your own ad department before scoffing at blogger’s fees.
The business of blogging is still new, and everyone is feeling their way. Blogs and brands, in some ways, are like an arranged marriage it looks good on paper, but no one is really sure it’s going to work out in the long run. There’s nothing to be done, frankly, but give it a go and see what happens.
Also, clearly, I picked the wrong blogging pony to back. $50,000 a campaign looks awfully sweet from mom bloggingville.