Woohoo! I've discovered how to add a few little tick boxes at the bottom of each post, to enable readers to record their reactions. Do please use them. I think I've identified the four most likely responses ...

Sunday, 23 December 2012

An interesting e-mail exchange

I have had a fascinating e-mail exchange about this blog. It went like this:

From: Craig Hall (craig.hall@mediaworks.co.uk)
To: Me
Date: 8 November 2012
Subject: Advertising on your blog http://tworoutes.blogspot.com/


I noticed your blog and I’d love to work with you and your blog http://tworoutes.blogspot.com/. My colleagues and I work with a lot of outdoor websites and we’re looking for top bloggers to help promote our clients through advertising on their blogs.

If you’d be interested in an advertising opportunity with us, all you would need to do is quickly talk about some of the items from our clients website i.e. tents, hiking boots, camping stoves…

Please let me know if you’d be interested in working with us on writing product/brand promotions from time to time for your blog and I’ll be able to send over the first one for you.


Craig Hall
Online Marketing Executive

Well, I thought about this for quite a while. I wondered whether I could really deliver what they want - the blog may have had over 20,000 page views, but that is actually only because I can't master the finer points of blogger, and have a separate post for each photo. The actual average page views per page is only about 20. Still, I figured that it was up to them to research all that for themselves. If they hadn't got it figured, that was their problem not mine. And although i don't want adverts on my blog (indeed, I nearly didn't open the e-mail at all because of the misleading title suggesting it was about advertising rather than gear reviews) I decided that if they wanted to send me some gear to test and review, I would not be averse to doing that.

So I sent the following reply:

From: Me
To: Craig Hall
Date: 2 December 2012

So ... you mean doing some product testing and write-ups?

Now, this is where it gets interesting! Because although the e-mail of 8 November had spoken of "getting the first one over to me" ... he now came clean about what it was that he was REALLY asking for.

From: Craig Hall
To: Me
Date: 10 December 2012

Hi Jeremy

Sorry for just getting back to you. I had a week off from work and I’ve been trying to catch back up.

Yeah we’re be looking for review write up’s. We aren’t able to send out stock from our clients but our clients stock a wide range of items so you might own something that they’re already selling to write a review about.

Would you be interested in doing something like that.


Craig Hall
Online Marketing Executive

So ... it appears that what Mr Hall wanted me to do was to change the style and content of my blog to include gear reviews of gear that he was being paid to promote ... provided I already owned that gear!!!

Needless to say, I did not find this a particularly attractive offer, and so I wrote back:

From: Me
To: Craig Hall
Date: 10 December 2012

To be frank, Craig, I'm having difficulty at the moment seeing where the attraction in this arrangement lies for me.

At the moment the blog covers the subjects I want it to cover, and I'm happy with it. If I want to talk about a bit of kit I've been using, I will do. But I don't involve full-on gear reviews.

Now, if you were to ask me to start including full gear reviews on normal review terms, I might consider that. It would change the style of the blog - but if there were something in it for me then I would certainly consider it. But writing reviews to suit your customers' agenda with no obvious payback for me? I think the expression that covers that suggestion is "get real".

Thank you for taking an interest in my blog.

Since sending that e-mail, I have heard nothing further from Mr Hall. I somehow doubt that I shall. However, I appreciate that other bloggers may take a different view of the attractiveness of Mr Hall's offer. So if there are any other outdoors bloggers who read this blog and are just itching for a chance to write gear reviews of their own gear to please Mr Hall's clients (for which those clients will presumably pay Mr Hall, but not the blogger) ... here are his full contact details from his e-mail signature block:

Mediaworks Online Marketing
Princesway North
Team Valley
Tyne & Wear
NE11 0NF

Email: craig.hall@mediaworks.co.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)191 404 0100
Fax: +44 (0)191 40 0199
Website: www.mediaworks.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/mediaworksuk

Meanwhile, don't call us, Mr Hall ... we'll call you.


  1. I had a similar exchange a while back, he wanted me to review my existing kit in return for a small fee.

    I decided not to take the offer up.


  2. At least he offered you a fee, John ... I guess he must have figured your reviews would be more valuable than mine!

  3. Great stuff.

    In a nutshell, he wants you to provide reviews so that he gets money, and pays nothing.

    If they are that big (just nosed their site), then they ought to pay you a fee,
    and better still be getting you free gear to review.

    Craig appears to be taking the p******.

    I think you were very polite, not sure I would have been.

  4. Hi Jeremy, your post reminded me that I received a message from that company last month but mine came from "Callum Morton". The message contained some over-the-top compliments about my blog and looked a bit "spammy" to me, so I ignored it. Thanks for explaining how they operate. Of course, if anyone wants to send me some genuine kit to review, I'd be delighted to oblige!

  5. Hi Jeremy,
    I had a similar contact with Mediaworks and it was ok. Basically they asked me just to mention in a post one of the companies that they do work for. As i was already preparing a post which, believe it or not did include The Cotswold Shop, (There i have mentioned it again) they sent me US$45 via Paypal.
    No complaints from me.
    They provided me with a number of other companies names and if at some point in the future i happen to write a post which covers them in any way, they will pay me the same. In this instance we both won and my blog stays uncompromised.

  6. I've just had an email from them too. Debating whether to take it up or not now