So I got into a really strange conversation over several days about how although a collection was easily viewable on an American website, I wasn’t to blog it in the UK because it was embargoed. How can a product be embargoed when I can find it on Google Images in less than a second? Which bit of the internet are you not understanding here, people?
It is always my preference to work with brands rather than give them a horrible shock, so if I have images I will let them know ahead that I am going to use them and usually state I would rather have official images than things I’ve found on other sites, because it is a better way to work ethically and I am never happy to use other site images without their permission, which can sometimes take a long while to get, or indeed, to actually get to the route of the source if they are pasted everywhere.
So, over some stilted email conversations, which petered out at their end I might say, I question the embargo issue when I can actually physically see the products in front of me on the screen, and wait for a reply. None comes, but in the convening couple of days before I nudge for a reply, the images mysteriously disappear from the US site. Now, I am not a PR and it’s not my business how to tell them to do their job, but how much better for them to say, “Massive *uck up, they aren’t supposed to be there; we’re having them taken down and would really appreciate your co-operation here.” In which case, that’s fine with me.. it’s make-up, not national security. But I do think it is a little unfair to pretend the whole thing didn’t happen and use non-communication instead of a little honesty and manners. I have the pictures – they’re in my files, but in the end you just have to throw your hands up and say, whatever. It really is just lipstick and when the whole thing is so cloak and dagger, I’m not up for taking responsiblity for some PR getting the telling off of her life, or worse, a stroppy client desertion. The reality is though, that someone else will.
But it throws into question the whole embargo thing again – I don’t wilfully break embargos left, right and centre, but the entire embargoeing collections must be looked at again. Unless a brand is 100% sure their PR is water-tight, and their factory, and their make up artists and their suppliers and the store buyers, the warehousers, the distributors, then really, there is no point.
I had the slightly awkward situation of showing a PR agency pictures of their client’s Christmas collection that they literally had no clue about – and no, I haven’t blogged them. It doesn’t seem fair at this point. The internet is ultra-competitive these days; first pictures means high stats – they’re really very valuable to a website or blogger in terms of stats, and while I will still never get over the thrill of a new beauty collection, there is much more to it these days, including, importantly, a genuine desire for my readers to have the best access. In a lot of ways, it does bring a rush to beauty blogging; it’s what makes it very, very exciting, but oh, the frustration! I want BBB readers to see everything here first, but realise that I cannot make that happen every time – I am genuinely happy with sometimes.
You have to make a judgement call each and every time; MAC holiday is already duplicating its way across the internet faster than the speed of light so I will be blogging that…but how much easier everyone’s lives would be if Italy and America understood about the w.
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I got a chuckle out of this post. As you said, we’re not talking national security here. We’re talking about the www that has transformed beauty into a truly global phenomina. I read blogs from all over the world and those bloggers have readers from all over the world. We’ve become an international group of beauty afficianados attuned to what is happening with our favorite brands on a global level. If a brand releases more foundation choices in one country than in another, we know it. If a brand issues exclusives in one country but not in another, we know it. If an anticipated shadow appears in one country but fails to appear in another, we know it. If prices are outlandishly higher in one country than in another, we know it. And so it goes. Yes, indeed. It does make you wonder what they don’t get about the “w” 🙂
I agree. I kind of wonder about a Beauty PR exec. who doesn’t factor in the reality of the internets, especially with how beauty blogging has exploded (for sport, hobby, career opportunities, venting, fanning…whatever). If you are a beauty fanatic, you live for any major news and you will spread it!
I sympathise with your ethical approach – they need to wake up to the web, that’s ridiculous!
Don’t they realise we travel and have relatives in other countries etc. and will buy beauty products in duty free/other countries anyway???
Funny how they don’t embargo our money or buy off a foreign website.
LOL – but totally understand your frustration they look like idiots.
Honestly, the situation is ridiculous. I see images I like on a US blog and I’m not allowed to blog about them myself? Nonsense.
Shame, but it won’t change – it’s because PR pander to print over online media. A magazine won’t cover a product that’s been shown to death online for a month.