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July 21, 2011

Kiss Our Sass Tells 3M To "Suck It"

We are super excited for BlogHer11! (You can expect our obligatory pre-BlogHer post shortly.) Of course, we're psyched for the whole weekend, but it wouldn't be BlogHer without some awesome parties. When we heard about the Kiss Our Sass Party (Powered by Match.com® and hosted by Melysa of Sex, Lies and Bacon and Jamie of Single Mom Survives) we had to get in on that.

(The Kiss Our Sass Party will take place Thursday, August 4th from 9pm to 11pm at the San Diego Hard Rock Hotel’s rooftop.)

So imagine our dismay when we read on Twitter that one of their sponsoring companies, 3M (owner of the Scotch, Post-it, Command and Filtrete Water brands) pretty much screwed them over. According to Melysa and Jamie, the 3M Company agreed to help sponsor the Kiss Our Sass Party, a party for awesome single moms and their awesome single friends, for $1,500... and then... totally fucked them over, in a really shady, unethical way.

(We're a little late on writing about this... but better late than never, because we think everyone needs to know about this. Both because the Kiss Our Sass Party is accepting donations to help cover the amount 3M isn't paying and because you should know how shady 3M is!)

If you've been keeping track of BlogHer's endless sponsor promotions emails, you may have noticed the 3M Goin' Coconuts! Luau & Mixer on the SAME DATE and at the SAME TIME as the Kiss Our Sass Party. [Note, the original URL which read "goin'-coconuts-luau-mixer-sponsored-3m" is redirecting to one that reads "filtrete-water-front-yoga-studio"... possibly because the luau guestlist is full or possibly because they're trying to draw our attention away from what they did.]

After committing to sponsor the Kiss Our Sass Party (and in turn, receiving awesome tips on how to best effectively promote themselves at the event) they're going to bail and throw their own copycat party at the same time? And they're going to leave the organizers of Kiss Our Sass hanging for over a week, while their emails went unanswered? Weak!

Of course, the PR team at 3M claims that they didn't do anything wrong. From a prepared statement written jointly by 3M and BlogHer:
Recently, 3M and BlogHer were surprised to see negative tweets about this party. Two bloggers tweeted that the date and time of 3M’s official party overlaps with an outside party they are organizing that same night.
While 3M had inquired about sponsorship of this outside party, 3M signed its sponsorship agreement with BlogHer in May and subsequently notified the two blogger organizers that it was focusing on the details of its own official event and sponsorship.

On Monday morning, July 11th, 3M staff tried to arrange a phone call with these bloggers to hear their concerns. We would have welcomed the chance to speak. However, the bloggers declined 3M’s offer and instead continued to post negative comments.
That sounds like a reasonable explanation, until you hear the Kiss Our Sass gals' rebuttals of their claims... According to them, 3M came to them in June (a good month after they had already agreed to sponsor BlogHer) about sponsoring the Kiss Our Sass Party... so the term "subsequently" is definitely inaccurate. Also, they did way more than "inquire". They committed in writing to sponsor the event.

 From Melysa's blog A Letter to 3M or Why 3M Can Suck It:
They did not INQUIRE about sponsorship, they COMMITTED in an email after weeks of exchanges. "The Scotch team will be COMMITTING to this effort." Does that not sound like a commitment to you? Does that sound like an inquiry? I HAVE THE EMAIL THAT SAYS THIS
She also explains why they "declined 3M’s offer" to talk on the phone. They wanted to continue the conversation in email, as they had been for the past months... something that 3M declined. Why? Most likely because they didn't want anything else in writing that could incriminate them. It's bad enough that Melysa and Jamie have screenshots of pages of emails proving 3M screwed up... if the convo moved to the phone, it would become a "he said/she said" situation.

(We definitely recommend you click on that link to her blog and read the whole entry for the full story. Seriously. Do it. Right now... we'll wait here.)

We want to make it clear that Melysa and Jamie didn't share this story in order to trash the company (although that's just an added bonus!) They did it in order to let other people who might get involved with them to know that they clearly don't behave ethically. From Melysa's Open Letter to 3M (Didn't you read it? We told you to go and read it!):

Above all, I am disgusted by the way Jamie and I were treated in our dealings with your company, which has left a bad taste in our mouths, and since we’ve gone public with it, it has also left a bad taste in the mouths of bloggers who would’ve normally supported, and have been supporting, 3M. Jamie and I are making no money off of this party. We have nothing to gain from it. We have invested our time, our energy, and our hearts in order to pull together an event for women who truly deserve it. We didn’t set out to do this to make money or promote ourselves, like your corporation did. We did this to give something back to bloggers who are less fortunate than us. The fact that you tried to undermine a party that was created for something good is saddening.
That being said, I’d like to give 3M a chance to make things right by either making a donation to support the women attending the Kiss Our Sass Party so we can add some last minute surprises to the event, or by compensating me for my time and my ideas that you used for your own personal gain.
Not-so-shockingly, 3M hasn't made a donation. You still can if you'd like to support the party. Or at least, we recommend you email the 3M PR team to RSVP and let them know why you won't be attending (or supporting 3M's brands anymore). While you're at it, you can also RSVP to their Filtrete Yoga event on Saturday, August 6 and tell them the same thing!

Whether this was just a scheduling snafu or an intentional attempt at stealing ideas on 3M's part, either way, the way they behaved and treated these women is not okay.

2 comments:

Marika said...

3M, their subsidiaries, and affiliates are the industry standard across so many fields, many of which actively or passively save people's lives... yes, this sucks, but it's already a he-said-she-said and, frankly, it's business. Besides, to effectively boycott 3M you'd be boycotting practically everything you buy or use, including many medical services, because their products are used everywhere, and for a reason.

Lilith said...

Hm, I don't think it's necessarily "he said, she said" when you have proof IN WRITING. Perhaps a full boycott of all 3M's products would be difficult for some, but a partial boycott would still hit them. I've already switched many of my products from 3M brands to other brands. The goal here isn't just to boycott, but to send the message that what they did is not acceptable.

Women make 85% of all consumer purchases and control $4.3 trillion in U.S. consumer spending. Female bloggers are very important to big brands right now because they have a really powerful consumer influence. 3M went to BlogHer to tap this resource, but instead they treated them like shit. I've already read so many BlogHer attendees and bloggers say they would never do business with 3M after this incident. We may not put them out of business, but we're certainly not going to let them get their money's worth out of sponsoring this conference either.