Free meals for good reviews on food blogs a bribe: Restaurateur

Free meals for good reviews on food blogs a bribe: Restaurateur

LONDON - A bribe is what one London restaurateur called a food blogger's request for a "review meal" in exchange for a positive write-up online, reported The Independent.

Food blogger Paul Turner of Hungry Londoner had emailed high-end independent restaurant Gauthier Soho in central London last week. He mentioned that he was writing a feature on boutique restaurants and would love to visit soon, so he can "write a positive review". He then asked if they would like to arrange for a review meal.

The restaurant's head of marketing James Lewis posted a screenshot of the email on his Twitter account and griped against the request. His Twitter account has since been suspended, supposedly due to Turner's private information that was published in the screenshot.

"There's been an ugly development in recent times that I call the food blagger, which is someone who uses the food blog as a platform to gain free stuff under the disguise of a review. I can put up with most of this sort of stuff, but what really irks me is what I see as somebody trying to get a free meal in return for a guaranteed positive review... It's a bribe, basically," Lewis told The Independent.

Turner told the paper that blogging is his hobby, and that he was misunderstood. He said that it was a private email, and that he pays for "almost all" of his reviews.

Source: The Independent

natlim@sph.com.sg

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