Wednesday, July 27, 2005

IMBB tea spam, er... offer

Did anyone else get this email? I'm posting it here cause it shows a landmark in IMBB events- they're attracting spamer attention! And yeah, I guess it is ironic that I'm re-posting it...

edited July 31: the offer for free tea from Adagio looks legitimate (see Clement's response in the comments). I'm sending off for a free tea set on behalf of this Food Blog S'cool mention. Do you want to try out Adagio's tea and get a free tea set? Click here and to see the details. They are offering a free tea set in exchange for a link posted on your website. Now if only that guy contacting me about posting a link to his KitchenAid site would offer us free Kitchen Aids in exchange...)


Might you be taking part in this month's "Is My Blog Burning," an event that
brings together bloggers from around the world to cook dishes with a common

This month's theme is tasteTea, a dish of your choice prepared with tea: .

We would like to contribute by mailing you complimentary teas. We are Adagio
, the most popular destination for tea online:

Simply reply with your selection of teas and mailing address. Will gladly
contribute to your participation in the IMBB phenomenon,

There are always more people watching and reading your blog thatn you are aware of...


Jennifer said...

*laugh* That's hilarious! I'm kind of disappointed I didn't get one myself.

Sam said...

I did get it too.
Clement wondered if they sent it to everyone who left a comment on his IMBB announcement.

I think this is actually a well thought out attempt at marketing. Much better than hefty Serve'nStore who when I wrote them a nice but firm mail saying I didn't want to write about their containers, signed Sam Breach, replied 'well if you don't want them, maybe we can send some to your wife'.

The offer it seems is to give you some free tea without requiring that you write about it. You can even choose which teas you want.It is unlikely that any one will be able to use their actual tea for IMBB because the deadline will almost definitely have passed before the tea is mailed out.

I think it is very interesting that they chose to target a specialized audience with their product.It will be even more interesting to see what other offers food bloggers get in the future too.

Does anyone know anyhting about this tea - any good?

I was also recently offered a sum of cash for an ad on my site which i turned down because - huh? why did i turn it down? Saying no to good money what is wrong with me? As the future unfolds I may have to readdress my morals with regards to advertising, if I get a good enough offer. But for now I am on a visa which doesn't allow me to earn money in the US so there is nothing I can do about it.

nothing in my visa says i can't try a little free tea though...

Alice said...

I got one too! I thought it was interesting that they didn't send it out sooner, since IMBB's deadline is this weekend. I wasn't sure of how legitimate it was, so I haven't done anything about it. I'm always timid about giving out my address... Could be a sneaky move of a food blogger stalker to get my address out of me...

But I did check out their site and they have rooibos tea, which amazingly goes well with tempura. I might have to try some.

Andrew said...

Get the tea... get the tea!

As Sam states it could be the start of focused marketing. In the UK one wine company has just sent out a batch of wine to bloggers as an experiment.

Mind you I havent got my bottle yet... no wine and no tea...

Anonymous said...

I got the mail too and since they mentioned Clement's site, I was about to send him an e mail asking if he knew anything about this. The offer is tempting but like alice, I am apprenhensive about giving them my address. Then again, I wonder if they will really send me free tea all the way from the US to Singapore.

Clement said...

I received the same e-mail, and a second e-mail that offered to "gladly offer complimentary tea sample[s] to all who wish to participate in your "Is My Blog Burning" event." I'm going to clarify whether there are any geographic limitations. From my initial impressions, there doesn't appear to be any obligation to mention their products or give them credit as a sponsor. But I suppose anyone who gives out their address does so at their own risk.

Amy Sherman said...

Aw heck, I give out my address all the time and nothing bad has happened to me. On a slightly related topic, for all of you paranoid about showing your face on your blog, I was on the cover the San Jose Mercury and have yet to be recognized anywhere by anyone.

As to the ethics of accepting free stuff, I am fiercely independent and will write about what I want no matter what. While I have yet to accept advertising, if a product interests or appeals to me I will give it a try. I have written mostly about products I have paid for but a few I have gotten gratis. I've also not written about a ton of stuff I've paid for and a few things sent my way that just didn't impress me.

Anonymous said...

Boy, if someone offered me free tea, I wouldn't think of it as spam. I wish they'd send that offer to me. In fact, I might write and beg them.

Despite having signed up for the August "Locavores" challenge, I exempted myself from tea (and some other things). I don't want to think about a month without my morning and afternoon tea, and someone just gave me a big sampler of some wonderful tea from Sri Lanka.

And on another topical note, is it possible to go from feeling like a very old dog with very new tricks to understanding blogging lingo. Apparently I got "pinged" but I didn't feel a thing!

Clement said...

I wrote Michael Cramer of Adagio Teas for more information about his offer. Here are the details for the free tea. I’ll post something similar later today on my blog:

- Adagio Teas is offering to provide each blogger with four one-ounce samples of their teas for free.

- To keep their shipping costs reasonable, they are limiting their offer to the United States and Canada.

- Recipients are under no obligation to use or write about the teas for IMBB or at anytime in the future. However, if you use their teas and then decide to write about a dish that uses them, they kindly ask that you mention the name of the tea, and include a link to their site.

- To request your teas, e-mail your selection of four teas and your mailing address to Michael didn’t give a specific shipping time frame but said they would dispatch all requests in a timely manner.

- The offer is good until August 10, 2005.

Clement said...

Quick addition: Adagio asks that you also provide your food blog URL to prevent them by being flooded with requests from non-food related freebie boards.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add that Adagio has been in business for several years, but I guess they're not *that* popular yet, hence the different marketing tactics. I don't know if they're still doing this, but they used to have an offer where you go to a tea room, then write a review, and they'll pay you $15. I applied to do one and they said yes, but it was such a bad experience I didn't want to write my review -- in retrospect now I should have and got the $15; wasn't a blogger back then so I didn't think much of it.

Sam said...

bad in what way? Do they own a tearoom chain?

Anonymous said...

no, not a tea room chain, sam. this was a tea room in a little town in PA -- the teas were so-so (they only offered bagged teas, not loose), the breads for the sandwiches were on the dry side, there was a bonbon that was much too sweet, petits fours that tasted too much of confectioner's sugar, scones that were like rocks, ugh. a shame too, because the guy that owns the place is English so i had such high hopes that teatime there would be fabulous. OTOH i can't fault him much because he's more well-known as a gardener (and the tea room -- not managed by him -- was set in the middle of a beautiful garden) than a foodie. i just didn't want to write a review where i couldn't say one good thing :( -- i could have heaped praises on the awesome plants and flowers though LOL.

Sam said...

oh i see - so Adiago pays you to go to any tea room regardless of whether it sells Adiago - if you write a review?

I am sorry about the English tea shop.
Maybe the scones were actually 'rock cakes'
there are such a thing and they look like what Americans call scones.
Still no excuse for teabags and dry sandwiches though.

Jocelyn:McAuliflower said...

Just updated the post... (commenting to bump this post in the recent comments area)

the free tea claims are legit, and there is an additional offer of a free tea set if you link to them.

thanks to all for looking into this more.

Elise said...

My free tea just arrived, and with a cool tea-making contraption too! This is the way marketers should do things. Polite email. Fast response with delivery. Nice packaging. Something extra you don't expect (the tea maker). And no strings! Makes me want to write about them, which is the intention. And the tea is very good.

Tana Butler said...

My tea arrived, sans "contraption" (which I don't need, as I have my own)...the teas smell heavenly. I can't wait to try them, but I couldn't today as I'd had three cups already. I was too amped on caffeine as it was.

I posted a photo of the very attractive tins here.

I am impressed, and can't wait to get the recipe for Chai Panna Cotta.

Jocelyn:McAuliflower said...

SO, its been months since I received the Adagio tea strainer thingy.

Its cute, however its made out of plastic. We noticed in the first month of use that acid from the tea leaves etches the clear plastic white. So now our container looks like it has white rice stick to the inside because of all the white marks from tea touching it.

Just wanted to put this out here.