In Today’s Globe & Mail

I just found out I’m in today’s edition of The Globe & Mail. That was pretty fast considering the Globe photographer came by only two days ago to take my picture. The article was written by Dan Skeen and deals with paid reviews. I was interviewed for the piece because of my involvement with ReviewMe. The Globe & Mail is Canada’s biggest newspaper. It’s basically the Canadian version of the Wall Street Journal.

After finding out the article was in today’s paper, I headed out to get a copy. That wasn’t easy since it was already mid-day and most of the newspapers were sold out. I went to a grocery store near my bank and found the bank closed because it got robbed! There were police cars everywhere. I managed to get the last copy of The Globe & Mail. Afterwards, I went to Save On Food to see if they have any extra copies and found the Royal Bank across the street also got robbed! There was a bunch of police cars around that bank too. Save On Food had 10 copies of the Globe left.

Paid Reviews – Smart Marketing or Deceitful Trickery


John Chow in his home office in Richmond, B.C. May 8, 2007. Mr. Chow’s blog is near the top of the heap at, where advertisers browse through blogs and then hire bloggers to write about their clients’ products or services. PayPerPost and LoudLaunch use a more passive advertising method where advertisers list opportunities at a fixed price per post. Any blogger that meets the offer criteria can accept the offer and write a post. (JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

The Globe article asked the question if sponsored reviews are smart marketing or deceitful trickery. Two paid bloggers were profiled. One gets $7 a review and other gets $300 (you can guess who’s who). The article doesn’t answer the question. It wants reader opinions on it, which is a great way to generate more traffic. Read the article and then share your view on sponsored reviews. I would love to hear it.

45 thoughts on “In Today’s Globe & Mail”

  1. Dax Desai says:

    Deceitful trickery? You say it up front that you are evil… no tricks there!

    1. Steve says:

      John has become famous abroad also. He was mentioned in a spanish daily newspaper back in March. I linked to it in one of my first posts.

      Check it out!!!!

      1. john’s getting more and more exposure now…
        how come the rest of us can’t do as well, even half

        1. Alex says:

          If you want to get a lot of exposure, write about fine dinning, cars and pack your blog with tons of pictures of yourself to make it more personal, people dig(g) that.. 😈

    2. Entrepreneur says:

      I don’t think you could call it trickery, at least not in your case John. You clearly label your posts as review-me reviews πŸ™‚

  2. Congratulations John! From my internet marketing experience, paid reviews ARE worth it. While in the end you might be paying $.1+ for every visitor, you get VALUABLE information on the review (if, of course it is a reputable reviewer) that could save you in the long run. Plus, though hard to measure, there are long term SEO benefits.

  3. limeade says:

    Paid reviews work out well for both parties involved. If they didn’t, the market would have long since let us know.


  4. Steve says:


    A review can be constructive if done well. Today on another blog, Joshua was not happy about his review(ReviewMe). I went to read it and it was very lacking. I just hope he did not pay too much πŸ™

  5. SEO Blog says:

    So you’re saying that you were around both robbery scenes… maybe this whole blog thing is a cover? Is that how you’ve REALLY been making your money? πŸ˜‰

    It is evil I guess… 😈 πŸ˜†

    1. ya how did two banks managed to get robbed. I hardly hear about bank robberies in Canada…is it a Richmond thing πŸ˜†

  6. These reviews can only be considered deceitful trickery if mediocre-to-poor products/services are glorified even when they shouldn’t be. Often times these businesses that hire the services of bloggers expect “glowing reviews.” As far as John Chow dot com is concerned, I don’t really see that happening here. For $300 (now a hundred more), John and his guest bloggers tell it as it is. It’s not like the clients don’t know what they’re getting themselves into. I say earning the big bucks while providing good and honest opinions to the reading public (we deserve nothing less) is definitely smart marketing.

  7. John Anthony says:

    More great press for the site! Congrats John.

    In your photo (on the your right 20.1″ monitor) – what tool are you using where it says “money earned and statistics”?

    1. John Chow says:

      That is the Text Link Ad affiliate income earned control panel.

  8. Aaron Cook says:

    Congrats John! I think the photo came out well too. πŸ˜€

    As for paid reviews, I think they definitely work well for everyone involved. IMHO, they’re well worth it.

  9. Slaptijack says:

    Note to self: don’t bank in B.C. πŸ˜‰

    Grats on the coverage.

  10. Moulinneuf says:

    Bank robbing or you decided to cash in your Adsense check and no money was left in the vault πŸ˜‰

    I would say neither marketing or deceit , Publicity , yes if you post it on a popular site , but that don’t mean that the reader of the blog/website are going to become user of your site or even go look at it and translate in better market position in your field. Its also clearly pointed out as a paid review , so there is nothing deceitful about it.

    You pay for a review and you get a review , its a service , its a bit like comparing Susur with a very fair seafood restaurant cuisine and try and figure out the secret ingredients that make them different in price or the deceitful trap of going out and not staying at home and cook the same meal. For most people what’s in my wallet is the #1 factor and what you feel is right for you is the second.

    On a observation note the Globe & Mail missed a golden opportunity to acquire the talent and expertise of someone who can show you and there reader’s , how to make real money on a blog and be someone who can ask for such amounts. But I guess there not interested in telling there reader’s how to do that … That’s my #2 reason why I don’t read them daily either , my #1 is there blame game/sensionalism/lies about Quebec and Quebecers.

    I read daily because he is funny and really informative.


  11. Techie Buzz says:

    Hey John,

    Awesome, you are the pinacle of making money man you rock.

    I have the seen the first Dot Com moghul in print to now :).


  12. Gdog says:

    That photo looks similar to the Vancouver Sun picture from a while back.

    1. John Chow says:

      Ya, they pretty much copied it.

  13. oh btw,
    what’s wrong with banks around you John? ❓

    1. Yeah, that’s pretty weird, isn’t it — 2 KNOWN back robberies the same day John’s article comes out. Hmmm…I wonder what’s going to happen when BC Business releases the JC issue. 😯

      1. john will get robbed? hmm.. that’s a scary thought…

        1. Oh, I hope not…I’m sure John’s got all his riches locked up in some high-security bank in Europe or something. 😈

  14. Wolf Stone says:

    In the globe and mail now huh…you’re spreading like wildfire …congratulations and i think paid reviews are useful and legitimate ways of promoting and increasing brand awareness as long as everyone knows that it is paid for.

    1. Exactly. Actually, well at least I think so, you are required by US law to indicate that it is sponsored / paid. I do believe how that is done is up to the poster.

  15. Rich Minx says:

    I agree with Wolf Stone: as long as it’s clear it’s a paid-for review, then fine.

  16. Beth says:

    Neither savvy marketing nor trickery- IF the blogger informs the readers he or she is being paid for the review. Whether it’s $7 or $300- it’s still money exchanging hands for performing a service. The amount being paid to the blogger doesn’t make it more/less legitimate, which is the tone you took when writing the post.

    1. Markk says:

      John Chow is such a trickster, every ReviewMe review is identified as such in the first paragraph.

      Shock! Horror!

      1. i can’t see why that makes john a trickster

  17. Yumcha Girl says:

    There is really nothing like getting in the papers – especially a prestigious one – so congratulations John.

  18. I would ask the question by John Anthony…In your photo (on the your right 20.1β€³ monitor) – what tool are you using where it says β€œmoney earned and statistics”?

    John you are blessed and have definitely created a momentum. You have received coverage in most of the national news papers in Canada..everything you do gets blown out of proportion…way to go…good karma or just pure evil πŸ‘Ώ either way thanks to you for showing how everyone can do it.. πŸ™‚

  19. Yogesh Goel says:

    Hey John,

    Thats really great. Great going man. You and ur blog going places.


    May God bless you with ever more achievements.

    Take care
    be well..

  20. Tyler Ingram says:

    That picture of you looks like the same one from a previous article. Wasn’t the photographer there to do a shoot or did they decided that a shot that looks like one before would be good enough?

    Imagine if they used the one you took of you in your housecoat πŸ˜‰

    1. John Chow says:

      It was a really short shoot. Just 15 min. I guess he was in a hurry and didn’t brother to think up a new type of shot so he just copied the Vancouver Sun.

  21. FameFire says:

    I read the article at The Global Mail. Written nicely. One more site I came to know by this article for padi reviews Nice to read it.
    MyBlogLog Community

  22. what a day you’ve had john!

    bank robbery…wow! maybe they robbed the bank because of you…

  23. Look at it this way…you could be in tomorrow’s paper, too, John. Bank robberies will make the headlines, of course, but you just might find a picture of yourself in the crime scenes holding a bunch of newspapers — publicity is endless!

    1. maybe john should hold another contest asking bloggers to make up stories about himself

  24. Britt Malka says:

    Congratulations, John, but I don’t think the article was quite fair.

    With ReviewMe, you actually have to tell people that it’s a payed review (which you do), and you don’t have to be positive in the reviews.

    Technical question: Why doesn’t my picture show here? I’m in your MyBlogLog community. Too ugly? πŸ‘Ώ

  25. Chicago 2016 says:

    I’m surprised the Globe and Mail didn’t answer the question. They’re a good paper and usually do a thorough job on pretty much everything…

    1. Probably they wanted to stay objective and just give their readers something to think about long after they were done with the article.

  26. green says:

    They should pay non-us reviews too, i can review with my perfect Turkish (well im joking), but anyone pays? :mrgreen:

    Btw im lucky that my people has a low crime percentage here. Bank Robbery never happened in years πŸ™‚

  27. I left my comments, interesting to see whether they are published or not.

    Nasty comments about Bluefur web hosting 😯


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