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I guess it helps to be honest with your readers and let them know what you do not like about a product and what you do like. It could also help the manufacturer- if they even read it. But, if the product has no positive attributes, I would not post anything.
I agree with Beth. If there is something that you really think is a bad idea/product/etc then wouldn't you want to let your readers know? There are ways to write a negative opinion of something without completely bashing a product or company.
This is a really interesting question to me since I haven't started reviewing products yet? What are the ramifications of giving honest but "poor" reviews? Will sponsors stop coming? Am I naive in believing that sponsors want to know what the public thinks of the product and how they can improve it or are they just using us for "almost free" advertisement?
There was actually an article related to this very topic in a recent Sunday edition of The Indianapolis Star. You can read it HERE.
Personally, I have not offered any freebies on my blog as yet. However, if and/or when I do, you can bet I will be honest - whether it is a good review or a bad review - because really, I don't feel I am giving an honest-to-goodness review of something if I sugar-coat my true feelings of the product and its performance.
I would absolutely post the poor review but would do it in a respectful, non- bashing manner. I agree with everyone who said how could you possibly trust a reviewer if every review was a glowing one?? If you want to develop a trusted, clear voice then you have to provide balance. Otherwise you just become another face in the crowd doling out meaningless reviews just to get a few free things. What's the point of that? I don't get it.
I would. The point of a review is to actually REVIEW the product, not blow smoke up the company's ass. Plus, I want my readers to feel they can trust me and if I'm just kissing up to everyone who sends me something then I'm not reliable or trust-worthy.
Having said all of that, I would try to make my negative review as constructive and kind as possible. I wouldn't just call something a piece of crap. :)
I have yet to see a negative review on a fellow Mom Bloggers site, have you? Maybe it is just the blogs I visit. I have a feature clld Product Junkie Approved so the bad ones will never make it since it is only products I really like and approve. I have had several products that I didn't like and I told the companies.
I absolutely would - this speaks to the whole idea of bloggers' integrity. If you didn't like the product and say you do, you're lying.
However, I completely agree with the other comments which suggest contacting the PR department ahead of time, providing only constructive criticism instead of a simply nasty review and noting any of your particular quirks which caused you to give the product a good review.