Flogs: fake blogs that pose as a consumer creation

Search marketers know all about splogs — spam blogs. Well, there’s a new term to add to our growing glossary of terms.

Stuart Elliott of The New York Times tipped his cap yesterday to Tom Siebert, a reporter for MediaPost, for coining the word “flog.” A flog is “a fake blog that poses as a consumer creation but is actually produced by professionals to sell products.”

Another flog was exposed last week, when bloggers discovered that a video blog that praised the Sony PSP was created by Zipatoni, an agency. The video blog pretended to be the work of Charlie, an amateur hip-hop artist.

Other notorious flogs include the ones created earlier this year by Edelman on behalf of Wal-Mart. One flog posed as the travel diary of a couple, but didn’t disclose that they were being paid for their positive posts. The deception earned a rebuke from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association for violating its code of ethics.

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