Should I Let A Company Approve My Sex Toy Review Before I Publish?
Hi readers! I’m back this week with a new instalment of Sex Blogger School. This week, I’m taking a look at another question from the sex toy reviewer community: Should I let a company approve my sex toy review before I publish?
Does This Really Happen?
Yes, it does. Some companies are happy to send review products out to reviewers, but insist (sometimes before sending, sometimes only after sending) upon previewing and pre-approving the review before you publish it on your blog.
And yes, some bloggers are fine with this and will send the preview of their review to companies for pre-publication approval.
If I’m asked by a company to send them the preview of my product review before I publish it, my general response is a polite but firm no. Along with explanations and more, of course; we’ll get to those in a little while.
Why? Because my product review is my review. I don’t see any reason why a company would wish to see the review before I publish it, unless…
Examine Why They’re Really Asking
Why would a company want or need to see your honest product review before you publish it? Let’s think about it. To check that it’s a positive review? Flattering? Complimentary about the product and the supplying company, no matter the truth of the matter?
If it’s not a shining beacon of positivity, what will they do? Will they ban you from publication? This would mean all that work reviewing the product was for nothing. And if you went ahead and published anyway, the company could decide to get nasty about it (sadly, from personal experience).
Opinions can’t be changed (at the time of writing your review), they’re your opinions of the product. From your first impressions through to preparing to use, your actual use of it and your well-rounded out thoughts, your review is your communication to your readers what you think of that particular product. As we’ve already discussed in this series, your readers will be loyal to you and trust you if it’s clear you’re always being completely honest.
What’s the point in product reviews otherwise? Cheap promotion of a business? I think you’ll find that’s called advertisement, and adverts need paying for. With cash, not products under the guise of ‘honest reviews’.
What You Could Do Instead
As I’ve mentioned, my response to a company who requests or demands a preview of the review before it’s published is a polite and firm no. However, along with this, I also offer an explanation as to why my reviewing policy means no previews of the review before it’s published.
I explain that my product review is my review, it will be my genuine feelings, opinions and experiences of the product. As an adult product reviewer that they have requested a review from, I would hope that they had trust in me to provide a fully honest review, as my readership does. This means there’s no facility to provide a preview which could be edited or adapted to better suit the tone of the supplying business.
That doesn’t mean that the end review can’t ever be changed; there are occasions when a company might spot errors from a typo to a factual error about the product in the finished and published review. In this event, of course I would be happy to go and amend the review. But I won’t change the review to edit my opinions, feelings and rating of any product – it would be insincere, unfair to readers and generally Not My Bag.
Explaining things politely, professionally and firmly in this way, standing your ground and maintaining your standards, should lead to the company accepting your viewpoint; if they’re genuinely after product reviews, that is. If they want an actual honest review (not simply a free or almost-free promo piece on your blog with backlinks) then you should be ok.
Not A Hard & Fast Rule
As always, I’m not the Sex Toy Reviewer Rule Maker, and all of the above isn’t some hard and fast law. These are all just my feelings on the subject, and how I’ve come to work with regards to product reviews at my blog, based on my personal experiences.
You, on the other hand, might feel that you don’t mind offering previews of your reviews to product supplying companies. It might give you renewed confidence to publish your review if you know you have the full backing of the company before you press the Big Button.
If you do, I’d just say to beware companies who insist that at that point, you edit parts of your review (which aren’t simply factually incorrect or typos), such as your feelings and opinions of the toy. Or pressure you into removing parts which aren’t fully complimentary about the product, and/or inserting false praise.
Remember, product reviews published at your blog are on the internet, and you can always edit factual errors and typos post-publication (thank goodness). The reviews aren’t for print, and the supplying company isn’t your editor. Your only obligation is to write an honest, well thought out and well rounded review which clearly communicates your personal experiences with, and opinions of, the product you’ve been sent.
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