Brands behaving badly. Maytag edition. - Update
Update: I waited for a response from Maytag from Monday afternoon to Tuesday morning. They chose not to answer my question and that is why I wrote the post below. Once the post gained some social media traction (thanks friends and frenemies!) I finally received a decent response. Perhaps it was timing but how many coincidences can there be in one story? I posted on the Maytag Facebook wall yesterday and received no response. Someone mentioned in the comments below (read them! see how twisted my words and intentions got) that Maytag is a Whirpool subsidiary. I posted on Whirpool's wall, emailed two Maytag public relations employees, and sent an email to a general Whirlpool email address as well.
I finally received the response below.
I am happy with their response. Nick was honest and Monica clarified the response for me. Without knowing what really goes into blogger selections when brands launch campaigns this is the best we have to work from. They said they're committed to working with a broad spectrum of bloggers and I believe them. For now.
I'll be watching (this brand and any other I notice) along with many others who have expressed interest in this issue.
Thanks Maytag and Whirlpool for your response. I sincerely appreciate it.
To any of you who turned this into a race/color issue: please read more closely next time. My issue was with brand transparency. I was curious, asked a question, and was blocked/ignored.
Everyone else: thanks for your support and don't stop asking questions. It's our right. Don't stifle your independent voice with the lure of free product. It's not worth it.
*I closed the comments for the first time because they were getting way out of hand. Thanks to those of you who engaged in the discussion in a thoughtful manner and BOOOO to the woman talking about white country clubs or...I don't even know*
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(The person who sent the tweet above has since asked to remain anonymous). I asked the blogger what brand she was referring to and she told me it was Maytag. I don't have much experience working with appliance brands because I'm not a review blogger but I checked out the #MaytagMoms hashtag and saw some familiar faces. Genuinely nice women and good people. No problem.
Every woman chosen was white and (as far as I know) heterosexual.
I've been blogging for about two years and I've seen a lot of brand campaigns. Major brands seem to favor white, heterosexual, and "traditional" bloggers. Where are the major campaigns that include Latinas/African-American/Black/Asian/Gay/Mult-racial/Jewish/Muslim mom bloggers?
Sure, we receive some pitches but they're usually for fatty, sugary, foods and questionable products. That's an issue for another day.
For the most part we're invisible and I'm sick of it. Instead of speculating I decided to ask Maytag directly.
Maytag blocked me. My two subsequent messages thanking them for their time and letting them know I'm looking forward to their response didn't make it through. Maytag blocked me.
Why? What does Maytag have to hide? What did I say that was so offensive? As a consumer I have a right to know which brands don't want to work with "my kind". I have a right to make conscious purchasing decisions.
Maytag could have said ANYTHING to me and I would have been satisfied. I can't prove that they only want to work with a certain type of blogger. They could've lied but now the truth is obvious. You would think they would have learned a lesson about social media and blogger relations after that whole Dooce vs. Maytag debacle.
I'm no Dooce but this blog is only three and a half months old and has been visited by almost one hundred thousand people. Hear that Maytag?
The retweets started flying and Maytag finally responded with some bootleg excuse.
— Maytag Brand (@MaytagBrand) July 9, 2012
. @MaytagBrand so then why not say so instead of blocking me when I asked a polite & respectful question?
— Veronica (@Veronicatheblog) July 9, 2012
@Veronicatheblog It was unintentional. We tried to DM you, but could not. Apologies for the confusion, and thanks for your question.
— Maytag Brand (@MaytagBrand) July 9, 2012
I know how blocking works. It can be an accident but it's highly unlikely they happened to accidentally block me MID TWEET.
Maytag doesn't care. That feeble response did not answer my question or alleviate my concerns.
There are plenty of talented bloggers with good traffic and stats to work with. Why are they always getting passed up?
I am beyond over it.
I am speaking up because I am so so sick of seeing talented and hard-working bloggers being excluded because of their religions/sexual orientations/skin color/"alternative lifestyles".
I am not a blogger who is bound to any brand. This is not my job. I do not rely upon blogging income for anything. I will speak my mind without fear of retribution. I'm not sucking at any brand teat for free goods and services.
I pay my own way and am bound to no one. The sponsors I do choose to work with are trustworthy businesses who know the importance of working with a variety of bloggers and writers. They are not exclusionary. I applaud them for that. I am fortunate to work with them.
Take notice brands who are exclusionary and do not value diversity: You will never receive my money as a consumer.
And I'm not the only one. This isn't a race/religions/sexual orientation issue. This issue affects all of us as writers, bloggers, and consumers.
— Kendra (@imkendratoo) July 9, 2012
I am keeping a running list of major companies who are exclusionary when launching blogging campaigns. You are not getting my money.
Maytag you're up first.
A disclaimer for any feeble-minded fool who attempts to come here with accusations of "hating" on any of the Maytag Moms: This is far from personal. Several of the Maytag Moms are women whose blogs or Twitter accounts I follow. Some of them seem like great women. I am not a reviewer blogger nor do I even have a need for any new appliances (although if someone did give me some I would donate them - that would be nice but I digress). Once again: this is not personal.