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Swedish bloggers can be bought for a lottery ticket

A Swedish online retailer (evasunderklader.se) that sells sexy underwear has approached a number of bloggers with an offer to receive a lottery ticket (Triss) worth 3.55 USD in exchange for a mention and a link on their blog. Many bloggers have already swallowed the bait. A link search on Technorati this morning showed only three incoming links that are older than one week, but 23 links the last 7 days. A similar search on Knuff, a Swedish blog portal, gives us 23 incoming links the last week and no links before that, so the deal seems to be paying off.

Several bloggers are very transparent and post the email with the instructions from the sender, Lina Månsson. Other bloggers state that they have been encouraged to blog about the site, but leave out the part with the payment.

But there are bloggers who completely distort the reason behind the link, like Per Jodenius, a key figure in the 2006 Swedish electoral espionage affair:

“One of my buddies shopped there a while ago and was very pleased. He thought I should give a tip about this site on my blog. Since I am a nice pal I do as he wishes”

I can see that bloggers might be tempted to earn a quick buck by simply posting a link on their blog and as long as they are candid about the circumstances, there’s no real problem, right? A little surprising is when people who are in an official position, like being a member of the local council, allow their blog to become a marketing channel for underwear. But that’s their choice. What is more difficult to digest is when the payback part of the deal is not disclosed or when bloggers simply lie about the whole arrangement. I mean, how dumb are you if you don’t realize that many other bloggers have gotten the same offer and that at least some of them will be telling the truth? The details will be known to everyone in no-time and if your story is completely different, you look pretty silly.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that bloggers can be bought for less than 4 dollars. If you aren’t well known it probably doesn’t even harm your reputation one bit, so why not go for the freebie? Personally, I would strongly recommend to be transparent about pitches like these. Either way, let me ask you this:

– do you really think that Lina Månsson exists, and if you knew that you have been lied to, would you still post the link?
– if you knew that the company behind the site, MTY, owns a store that sells products that, let’s say, can be helpful in the bedroom, would you still post a link?

Internetbrus has also received the email and reveals that it was sent from marcinnowak.se, an SEO consultant. Marcin Nowak also happens to be the holder of the domain name evasunderklader.se.

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