Earlier today DearCrissy.com broke a story that MommyNetworks.org had approached her site, as well as numerous other mommy bloggers, to cover the NASA study story and create a little positive PR for Toyota. In an email, Tiffany Lewis of MommyNetworks even offered a $10 Amazon gift card for those who cooperated.
The note also asked bloggers to promote several articles favorable to Toyota, with 32 links to articles listed.
The story got out of hand when DearCrissy assumed Toyota was sponsoring the offer and therefore trying to buy good PR. While assumptions should never be made, Crissy Page of DearCrissy didn’t exactly jump to a wild conclusion in stating that Toyota was funding the scheme. Why else would MommyNetworks be paying people to generate news?
MommyNetworks has since come clean in stating that it is in now way associated with Toyota and that the automaker isn’t funding the project. Likewise, Toyota has denied any affiliation, stating in a Tweet that, “Have found no contracted affiliation w/ mommynetworks. We don’t support this type of outreach. Getting to the bottom of this.”
The question remains, why was MommyNetworks trying to buy good PR for Toyota?