Bertolli Olive Oil advertising bludgers


I periodically receive emails from spammers contacting me via the blog. They always want guest posts, always explain how they have been published at other sites and how their fantastic writing will generate massive amounts of traffic for me…and them. The proposals are usually from little known people with silly emails and get binned.

Once in a while though a reputable company and brand contacts me. The pitch is essentially the same…and they never want to pay for the privilege of embedding their brand in my blog.

Take Bertolli Olive Oil. They are a major corporate brand, part of the massive Unilever group. They don’t do anything for nothing…except try and bludge social media traffic off large traffic blog sites. Check out this email:

Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 8:23 PM

From: Matilda Aldridge <matilda.aldridge[at]>

To: whaleoilbeefhooked[at]

Hi there,

I hope you are well.

I’m currently contacting top bloggers for a campaign that Bertolli Olive Oil is about to launch. Bertolli has been on the market for 150 years and is the leading olive oil brand in the world. I believe your blog would be a great fit for this campaign.

We would love to get you involved and give you the opportunity to establish a long-term partnership with Bertolli Olive Oil.  

If you are interested, I would love to have a chat, my number is 02 9046 3710 or I can alternatively send you the press pack.

Thanks very much and I look forward to hearing from you.


Kind regards,



matilda aldridge, content & community manager, we are social
a: 107 Regent Street, Chippendale, NSW 2008
m: +61 450 721 171, w: 02 9046 3710 twitter: @Tilly_Aldridge, skype: matilda-daisy

So, a chat was had. Regan, who handles the advertising on my site contacted Matilda, who informed him that there was no budget for this campaign…the usual response after attempting a bludge.

Matilda was asked how much she is being paid for organisaing the campaign, she declined to answer, citing commercial sensitivity…so her, and her company “We Are Social” are being paid, presumably by Bertolli‘s agency to organise a social media campaign and attempt to poach traffic from the people who have the audience and they don;t wish to part with the substantial amount of hooter that they are being paid, even just a little bit.

“We Are Social” pitch themselves like as some sort of social media gurus…and note they boast of having Unilever as a client.

Hello, we are social. We’re a global conversation agency, with offices in London, New York, Paris, Milan, Munich, Singapore, Sydney & São Paulo. We help brands to listen, understand and engage in conversations in social media.

We’re a new kind of agency, but conversations between people are nothing new. Neither is the idea that ‘markets are conversations’.

We’re already helping adidas, Heinz, Unilever, Heineken, eBay, Jaguar, Intel, Moët & Chandon & Expedia.
If you’d like to chat about us helping you too, then give us a call on +44 20 3195 1700 or drop us an email.

So they are a commercial organisation, charging moonbeams to major corporates for social media engagement without actually passing on any of the fruits of that engagement with MY audience. This sort of leeching and bludging behaviour is unacceptable.

Which is strange considering their “Ethics” page:

We believe that honest and meaningful conversations enable brands to participate in communities, build trust, and ultimately help create better products, services and experiences. We tell this to our clients, partner agencies, people we want to work with, and we are equally committed to behaving in this way ourselves.

When we outreach to a blogger or participate in a community we will always be clear about who we are and who we represent. We will never ask anyone to say anything they do not believe.

We place great importance in understanding the blogs and communities we speak to and participate in, and we always endeavour to talk to people about things that are relevant and interesting to them.

Interesting isn’t it…they use the buzz terms “outreach”….except that doesn’t mean pay for placement or content or anything at all. They are “ethical” bludgers…how nice. It is true that they will never ask anyone to say anything they do not believe…they also won’t pay them for the things that they do believe.

So, Bertolli Olive Oil and Unilever needs a little social media lesson on why bludging is unacceptable even if they think it is ethical. They are getting paid for the campaign I fail to see why bloggers and the people with the engagement and the audience shouldn’t be paid also.

I sent this email around a number of bloggers to let them know about this attempt to bludge off their traffic. Cactus Kate replied with a photo…

One of only 3 things in Cactus Kate's kitchen

One of only 3 things in Cactus Kate’s kitchen

Cactus Kate is not known for her culinary abilities, she has been known to burn water. This is not a good sign that one of only three items in her kitchen. I doubt it is for cooking…I wonder what on earth she would have that for?

One thing I did look up is whether or not Bertolli Olive Oil could be used as a sexual lubricant. Turns out you can. There are hundreds of articles about the benefits of using Bertolli Olive Oil as a sexual lubricant.

There are many Q&A sites too that have questions like this:

Q. I read about the woman who uses Bertolli Olive Oil as a personal lubricant. Is it safe to apply the olive oil directly inside the vagina?

A. Some women may have allergic reactions, so it would be prudent to do a “patch test” on the inner arm first. If it is safe enough to eat, though, it is probably safer than certain other things used as personal lubricants. Do keep in mind that all oils are incompatible with latex, causing it to deteriorate, so must not be used with barrier contraceptives. For that, water-based lubricants are much safer.

There are also other ingredients which can be used either with your Bertolli Olive Oil or by themselves.

Even if you haven’t had problems with synthetic lubricants, using natural products can make a difference in your sex life. Here are some natural ingredients to look for in products or to use by themselves: aloe vera gel, vitamin E oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, and even some of the oils in your pantry, including Bertolli Olive Oil and almond oil. Please note, however, that oils are not compatible with latex condoms, so you need to use nonlatex condoms if you’re lubing up with any type of butter or oil.

One thing that Bertolli Olive Oil isn’t recommended for is anal sex, the preferred lubricant for anal sex are silicone based rather than using something like Bertolli Olive Oil.

Apparently though Bertolli Olive oil is great for masturbation.

Given that We Are Social, Unilever and Bertolli Olive Oil don’t believe in sharing the love, perhaps it is true that Bertolli Olive Oil is best for masturbation, especially on Facebook.

Is Bertolli Olive Oil the cheapest personal lubricant on the market?

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.