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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the day: Will Perez Hilton’s sponsored blogging make you more suspicious of other bloggers’ motives in discussing movies?

I got an ache in the pit of my stomach when I read this at SFGate:

Later this summer, a major movie studio will pay celebrity blogger Perez Hilton to tweet – comment on the micro-blogging service Twitter – for a week about a forthcoming movie (which Hilton’s ad seller declined to name). This month on his popular perezhilton.com, Hilton appeared as himself in a video advertisement chatting up a fictional character in the new film “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.”

Such an arrangement could be worth “six figures,” said Henry Copeland, president and founder of Blogads.com, which sells advertising for 2,000 blogs, including top sites like DailyKos.com and MichelleMalkin.com.

Now, Perez Hilton isn’t exactly a respected film critic — which is probably precisely why the studios chose him for such endeavors — so it’s not as if he’s devaluing criticism or actual film journalism by agreeing to engage in such stunts. (I wonder if Hilton will reveal which of his tweets have been paid for by an advertiser, as the FTC is considering requiring bloggers to do…) But still, this makes me very uncomfortable. Hilton’s readers probably won’t care if he’s been paid to promote something, even if they don’t know which of his content is paid and which isn’t, but I suspect this may make readers of other film-related sites wonder if their favorite bloggers are being paid to wax enthusiastic about a new movie or TV show.

Will Perez Hilton’s sponsored blogging make you more suspicious of other bloggers’ motives in discussing movies?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)


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