Anyone remember Pepsigate on ScienceBlogs?

Since we discontinued the ads on this site, I (and other bloggers) get lots of promotional crapola from people who want to put them back on — I will not. I thought this invitation from was, well, unethical.

Please let us know pricing and options to place content relevant on your website but would have 1 link to Gaming Industry website. Further details:

● We will reimburse yourselves for a one off administration fee in uploading and maintaining the content on your website as long as the site is still live.

Within the body of the content Please do not suggest the article is paid / sponsored / advertorial in the content

● We will provide you with the article that will include citations and images, as to make the content with editorial value, we request that all these are kept in.

Please come back to me and we can provide both content and payment.

It’s that second clause in particular. They’ll provide content, but we are required to pretend it is our own original work, and not mention that it was paid advertising. We won’t do that. That’s sleazy.

If you suddenly see posts written in an entirely different style, babbling about my amazing scores in fast twitch video games, you’ll know I sold out. The legal debts must be getting to me.


  1. daemonios says

    Some places, such as Portugal, have reasonable rules to the effect they advertising must always be identified as such, and that it is forbidden to hide the advertising nature of a message. Maybe campaign for similar rules in your state or at the federal level?

    Not that laws by themselves are enough, mind you. The Advertising Code also forbids false advertising and limits advertising targeting children, yet examples of those are a dime a dozen.

  2. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “If you suddenly see posts written in an entirely different style, babbling about my amazing scores in fast twitch video games, you’ll know I sold out. ”

    Blink twice if you’re mind-controlled.

  3. mamba says

    Isn’t having sponsored content and NOT mentioning that it’s sponsored illegal?
    As in, laws were put in place specifically to stop what they are literally asking you to do?

    I could be wrong here, but I always thought that websites and TV HAD to mention sponsored content outright, in order to prevent people from thinking a documentary is objective when in fact it’s an ad for something for example. Just like the news has to tell you when something is NEWS and something is an OPINION piece…same deal?

    Either way, good to know they have confidence in themselves…”You can talk about us, but please don’t tell anyone that we wrote this…we want nothing to do with the content; YOU put YOUR name on this crap…er…quality editorial!”

  4. vucodlak says

    Oh, that’s not so bad. Just put something like “SHILLIN’ SHIT” in the title and “SOME SLEAZY SHILL” in the byline, and you’ll be doing exactly as ordered. They’ll have no grounds to complain, because the title and byline are not the “body of the content.” Sure, they’ll probably complain anyway, but it’s not your fault that they apparently don’t understand that terms of art have specific meanings.

  5. says

    I’m going to have to post an ad for the stderr jade anal bowling ball (available in OD green or tactical black) I’ve been holding on to that one…

  6. says

    I follow a lot of gaming YouTubers and Twitchers and they are constantly being asked to violate FCC rules about advertising. Every so often you find “gaming” websites that are really links to gambling websites; these sites tend to not pay their writers in anything other than in “exposure”. The sad part is that Jim Sterling checked it out and you get maybe $200 for selling your soul.