Beauty Bloggers Dilemma: How to React / Review a Bad Product

There comes a moment in every bloggers/ journalists life where something unexpected happens. The new phones you’re given to review breaks down, you get a horrific rash at a spa, or you go on a yoga retreat that proves unfulfilling. In each case we’ve had the treatment/ experience for free, and are duty bound (especially on anything that involves flights) to write something about the event. I would never EVER lie and make something that was negative into a positive, but I also don’t want to upset the lovely PR girl who I’ve just spent 2 days with on an island.

I know the PR lady will appreciate that my negative stance is not shared by everyone, but the fact remains I had a rubbish time. I could turn my trip to the unfortunate spa into a news story; this exists, you get this, costs x much to get there- but that doesn’t really give the readers any value and the actual client won’t be thrilled with this snippet not after all their (misguided) effort to impress.

There’s also the problem of your relationship with the PR, especially after two days cooped up together and learning about her sick kids/ evil boyfriend/ etc. This used to be a lot simpler before the days of blogs as some (not me) might say one thing whilst think another, but now if that were to happen and bloggers were to slate said event you’d look rather awkward and fake.

This is about what I should do though- as I’m sure all the other writers there will have their own stance. I can’t justify telling people to spend £x amount (quite high) for a day that I felt had minimal value, but then I did fo to the trial session, so I could talk about that. I could write a critique of the event with a positive spin- what was good (one or two things) what was bad (8 things) and finish with ‘it has potential when more developed.

Option 2 is ignoring the event alltogether and doing a Q&A with the CEO (CE)’s love this! and talk about the company and the thought behind it, adding an addendum that they also hold workshops/events without commenting on that. Is that a cop out? The deadline is looming for that piece and I’m unsure what to do… HELP?