Time to “Sell Out”

06 Apr

I’ve read that bloggers are sometimes offered freebee walking gear to “review”.  Not a bad way to subsidise your hobby if you’re lucky enough.  Sadly I’ve never fallen into this category, probably because I’m not a well connected gear freak and because the 3 people who read the blog don’t give a monkey’s either.  But sometimes the oddest things can happen so I considered my views on the subject.

I mean, would it compromise my blogging integrity to do a review?

I’m sure I had an “integrity” once, but it must have been a long time ago ‘cause I can’t remember what it looked like.

Would I be able to tell the truth or would I have to fabricate a suitable response that would reflect my client’s aspirations?

Hmm, given the content of the Fatdog “Tails” fabrication wouldn’t be too difficult an option I suppose.

But looking at it objectively who in the hillwalking world would even consider asking me to review a product?

Let’s face it anyone who knows my style (not to mention my passing acquaintance with reality) would justifiably consider it more credible to ask King Herod to write a review on local childcare facilities.

But all is not lost…Oh no!

By a strange quirk of fate the Gods have smiled benevolently upon me and an unexpected opportunity has come my way (or maybe not after this post).

A PR consultant has emailed me to ask if I have ever done reviews from a personal perspective.  Interesting…nobody’s ever asked me that before.

Oooo…boots, backpacks, I need a new waterproof jacket…that’d be great.

Let’s see, what did he want me to review…


….a 16kg bag of dogfood.  (sigh)


Posted by on April 6, 2010 in General Drivel


14 responses to “Time to “Sell Out”

  1. Caraisla

    April 6, 2010 at 6:09 pm


    Sorry i had to have a bit of a laugh at that one. Never mind it might be that new shiny Goretex jacket the next time…

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Phreerunner

    April 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    You don’t need free stuff to do a review!
    I did a review of the HI-TEC boots I accidentally received for free (HI-TEC weren’t aware of the fact). It was very critical. The manufacturer contacted me and I now have some new shoes, FOC. They are not ‘for review’, but I will review them in due course.
    The moral of this: review kit that has failed, in a way that a google search will reveal your poor review, then the manufacturer’s marketing department may try to appease you by offering new kit, leaving your honest review standing, with a positive footnote about how much the manufacturer ‘cares’!

  3. fatdogwalks

    April 6, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I’m afraid no manufacturer in their right mind would ever send me anything. Maybe, given the fact that I use The Fatdog as my primary navigation tool, I might persuade Garmin to test the accuracy of their equipment against the standard labrador nose and thus gain sponsorship and free GPs’s 😆 !

    More realistically I could send emails to major manufacturers indicating that should I not receive a free sample of whatever wears they produce; then I will write a review!

    The power of Google could definitely help out here Martin… though I’m not sure I have the attention span to comment even briefly on hillwalking kit 😆

  4. annienz

    April 6, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Hmmm …. dog biscuits.

    You’d have to teach FD to type so that she could do the review anyway.
    I mean, I’m sure she’s up to the testing aspect, but would you really want her drooling all over your keyboard while she typed?

  5. fatdogwalks

    April 6, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Oh…the dog was supposed to sample and review…oops.

    Hi Annie…good to hear from you again 😀

  6. BG!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    LMFAO here, Ken.

    Do let us know what the samples taste like 🙂

  7. fatdogwalks

    April 7, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Probably tastes the same as the stuff she normally gets Steff.

    She’s not great on changes of diet so I can see me with spoon in hand…

    “Here comes the aeroplane!”


  8. Alex

    April 7, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    They say a picture paints a thousand words,so,why not do a photo review ?
    You could have Maisie with an anticipatory look to start with,one licking her lips as the tension mounts etc; 🙂

  9. fatdogwalks

    April 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Hmmm…sounds like you’ve done this before Alex 😆 .

    Might have to cut out the one of her vomiting…as she does when her main foodstuff is changed.

    We left the Bleating Sheep in charge of Maisie one year when we went on holiday, but had changed her cans of dogfood for a new variety. She was as sick as a proverbial “dog” for a few days until the new cans were replaced with her long time favourite variety.

    So you see a 16kg bag of dogfood may not be such an attractive proposition as it first appears.

  10. Simon

    April 8, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Put it between slices of bread and leave them by summit cairns. Problem solved.

  11. Chris Norton

    April 8, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Interesting post Ken. I wouldn’t class a product review as selling out, it depends on how you look at it. If you review a product based on how it compares with the competitors then that is fair. I have done various campaigns with bloggers with products from top end military boots, mobile phones right through to smaller items. Selling out in my opinion is giving a glowing report about a product that doesn’t do the job it is for. There are many companies that pay people for positive reviews and personally I am totally against such things as a blogger myself. If I don’t think a product is of interest to what I write about then I don’t do a review simples.

    PS: I wrote a review of my top 15 walking sites a while back in case you are interested:

    Keep up the good work.

  12. fatdogwalks

    April 8, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Hi Chris – good to hear from you 😆 .

    I’m glad my post drew you out….certainly confirmed that you had looked at the site.

    I had an email recently from a gear firm who wanted to “exchange” links with a local blogger to promote both our sites. For some reason they thought I was in Colorado. 😯 Looked like spam to me.

    So don’t be put off – I’m always wary of unexpected emails from third parties. Mind you I was thinking your email was a good wind up 😆 . Then I clocked your site…and was then thinking it was a bloody good professional wind up!

    Don’t worry, the post actually wasn’t a dig at you or strangely enough at “selling out”. The subject has been debated ad nausiam in blogging circles. As a creature of limited integrity I have no real views on the matter. I just thought the contrast between expectations and reality would make for a good post. Which I think, on the whole, it did.

    I really didn’t think you would own up on the blog to offering me a 16kg bag of dogfood though!!! 😆 Good on you!

    Unfortunately you’ve destroyed my credibility as a fictional writer because most people who visit believe I make it all up as I go along!

    Anyway the least I can do is give your give your proposition a listen so drop me a line or if you’re game just post it up. I can always edit out the worst of the comments that may appear 😆

    Anyway many thanks for posting up Chris…hope to hear from you soon. I’m off to look at that link of yours.

  13. fatdogwalks

    April 8, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Simon – great idea – unfortunately – with a myriad of hungry hillwalkers lurking in the mountains Maisie would have to move a lot faster than she normally does!

  14. Simon

    April 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Hungry enough to sample dog biscuit sandwiches!


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