Tag Archives: mtl blog stolen content

MTL Blog and it’s Sponsored content

So recently Marois & Moi  did a write up on MTL Blog’s rate card and fee to cover events.  This was originally leaked on Fuck No Montreal back in April and we did a write up last week.

Now it’s clear that MTL Blog charges to cover events as they have an inquire within rate card with no prices on their site.

MTL BLOG RATE CARD

Here is the leaked email on Fuck No Montreal

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 1.08.23 AM (2)

As well, they flat out admit it in an interview posted on Canadalandshow where they say “Lapointe sees MTLBlog as a ‘mixed’ media-brand. The young company has been exploring native advertising, with resulting stories stamped ‘sponsored content’ on the site.”

sponsored content in canadaland article

Although a comment on the Marois and Moi article caught our eye.

MTL_Blog_just_got_caught_in_a_legal_grey_zone…_marois_&_moi_ comment

The comment reads “I’m a bar owner and I occasionally use MTL Blog’s services to cover my events. They do a great job! I guess you have to be in this business to understand that finding a professional photographer that’ll shoot your event, edit the pictures, send them to you the morning after and share them on a popular cultural blog for under 150$ is a no brainer. Stop complaining and get a life.”

We did some digging and found that the name on this comment is tied to a local bar, Nacho Libre, and MTL Blog has covered it multiple times like they do with other bars. You can even see the MTL Blog water mark on the picture. Because MTL Blog would hate it for someone to steal their picture. You know, like they have to many local bloggers

Although something about these pics and the statement admitting they charge seemed off. It’s not marked as sponsored content. MTL Blog will mark some items as sponsored – it shows up on the home page and on the post in an orange highlight.


The posts done on Nacho Libre are not marked sponsored and it implies it is organic. This is a deceptive practice because readers will assume it is a non-paid advertisement. When people know they are being sold something they react differently. Now this is not an uncommon practice. Food bloggers get invited to openings and give reviews that are a form of advertising but some will state that it is a media event. Often if you state you have sponsored content, (which MTL Blog clearly has as seen in screenshots above) readers can make the conscious decision to filter paid content from organic content.

Although since MTL Blog’s Nacho Libre coverage of events is not labeled paid content, then people think this is an organic coverage and is news, albeit social news, and not to be confused with real grownup news with real reporters tackling real issues (but that’s another issue)

So for those reading events on MTL Blog do be aware that you may be marketed to even if it seems like normal party coverage. As well, we should note that Nacho Libre has another bar opening called Brutus and MTL Blog has been writing hype articles on upcoming bacon focused items. The posts are not labeled sponsored but you can tell that they are building up hype the same way that PR and marketing companies do, although when you leverage a seemingly neutral source for content that’s when you blur the line and are tricking people/lying to them.

brutus mtl blog

brutus mtl blog poutine advertisement

brutus mtl blog sushi advertisement

 

 

 

 

Twitter shame, the only way to get MTL Blog to take down content they stole

So in one of our earliest posts we wrote about how MTL Blog stole the picture from La Pantry. In it we stated that a tweet and public shaming is the only way it seems to get MTL Blog to take down picture.

The pic in question was originally used in an article covering 7 places to have brunch in Montreal and then in a post on MTL Blog in which they cover 21 Montreal hangover restaurants.

le pantry original

Now ignore the fact that any article with the title of “Best Montreal Hangover Breakfast Restaurants” that lists 21 establishments is not really the ‘best of’ but rather simply a really long list of places that serve breakfast.

mtl blog stolen pic from le pantry

 

Now in our initial article we said that calling them out on Twitter was the only way to get this done and other bloggers like Will Travel for Food and Montreal Breakfast Review had success with this approach. La pantry had to go that route even though we wrote about this early on and MTL Blog is aware that we exist as evidenced by their take down attempt near the end of July.

THE TWEET

THE REPLY

Now MTL Blog took down the pic and replaced it with another one, although, they seemed to neglect doing their due diligence and going over all 20 plus spots to see if the pic is still there. Guess what? It’s there.  See below on how even after the tweet and take down of the initial pic the photo is still up. I took a screen grab with the date and time as well as well as better shot of the post itself and url.

This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. I mean, there it is, number 19 of 21, the same photo that they took down as the cover is used in the exact same post.  The excuses of being young, inexperienced, and understaffed are simply poor excuses. It took me less than a minute to find this.

mtl blog still stealing

 

mtl blog le pantry number 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reporting events MTL Blog style

So a while ago MTL Blog started making a move towards “reporting” news.  Now, as those words get read, journalists everywhere shed a tear as what they love gets associated to an aggregating trashy local buzzfeed. You can see some of their attempts to make a shift have an image of a news site by reporting spotting of  famous people  people or writing about Montreal based issues like air BnB.

In both cases, they stole / borrowed heavily from legitimate news organizations. So one of the constant content streams from MTL Blog is covering parties. I mean other sites do it and quite well.
Nightlife has been doing it for ages as well as CultMTL for shows. So we weren’t too shocked when we saw that MTL Blog charges for covering certain events. Their rate card is below, although there are no listed prices.

MTL BLOG RATE CARD

 

Although someone pointed out  recently that a rate card with prices had slipped out a while ago. The tumblr page Fucknomontreal posted a copy a while ago and the rates range from $80 to $160.  Now this is an older rate card and odds are the rate has gone up.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 1.08.23 AM (2)

Some of the requirements are funny:

  1. The photo album needs to be shared via your official Facebook and Twitter channels the next day.
  2. We will not accept to cover any party/club events under 150 attendees.
  3. Cancellation fee: If the event is cancelled for any reason, there are less [sic] people than expected, and/or the photographer is sent home for any reason, the payment will still be due regardless. MTL Blog must be informed 24hrs in advance if the event is cancelled.

I mean I guess if you want that 18-24  Cegep and undergrad demographic, this is money well wasted. There’s also the added benefit of being associated with a site that steals its content.

Although implying that it does event coverage and having people think it’s media is wrong, they are charging people for publicity, which is a PR company, plain and simple.

The danger is the more and more content they push and move toward some kind of news outlet, people will think that they are real media and are covering news. Putting news in the hands of a PR company is a dangerous thing. They have already made posts that are mysogynist, as well as fake news to stir up interest and traffic. So imagine what happens when they wiggle their way and get people to think that they are actual news, or heaven forbid, legitimate.

Remember only you can help stop MTL Blog by getting people to Un-follow them on Facebook. You can use our handy “Help! My friends are douchebags guide” as well as our “Help! My friends accidentaly liked MTL Blog” guides to Un-Following MTL Blog.

 

 

 

MTL Blog and their non apology

So MTL Blog posted its apology letter or, as they call it, love letter to Montreal with the title of “You’re welcome, and we’re sorry.”

I’m on vacation with limited internet so I will keep this reply short. It’s barely an apology and the Twitter comments on this are golden.

Feel free to click on this link for the twitter blow up.

The first few paragraphs are basically them professing how great they are and how they are changing/challenging the media establishment – “we’ve proven anyone can disrupt the media monopoly and social dynamics built and enforced by the generation of our elders.”

If by disrupting the media establishment they mean stealing other peoples images and content, then I guess they are right.

Let’s be clear, MTL Blog is not Vice Magazine, not Eater, they are not revolutionaries like Che Guevara. They are a very douchy version of Buzz Feed.

I love the part where they say, “Our unmatched knowledge of events, parties, and general goings-on has given you a new level of understanding of the city.”

I should point out that they charge for event coverage (rates aren’t public) but when other blogs do that, it’s called a sponsored post and it’s clearly stated. MTL Blog does not state anything regarding fees.
MTL BLOG RATE CARD

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