Tumblr May Be Losing a Few Friends

As New York Fashion Week, and all the stress that coincides, approaches it is of no surprise that a controversy, one just waiting to happen in fact, has exploded all over this fashion event. Tumblr is a great social media tool, especially for fashion. It is like Twitter, with the re-tweeting or re-blogging of posts by others, but Tumblr allows you to post photos as well as text. Thus, allowing bloggers to take it to a new level and show us what they are blogging about. One could imagine that fashion is very fond of this rather new social media tool as posting pictures from designers and brands a like does wonders for companies, as words can sometimes fall a little flat.

As Tumblr is a really great idea and gave the impression to be a really great business, it seems as if otherwise may be true. The business aspect of this great social media tool has provided some major companies with a little less than satisfactory dealings. Many major retailers and design houses have Tumbl-ed and Tweeted some rather harsh reviews, however all honest and truthful. Ann Taylor’s digital and social media manager, Julie Fredrickson, in a response “Tumbl” from her personal Tumblr (which has since been deleted) “voiced her own frustrations as a marketer working with Tumblr: I am going to go on record saying that no one at Tumblr reached out to Ann Taylor with a proposal for Fashion Week and we are: 1) the first fashion brand to be on Tumblr (even though we carefully avoid press since this piece as a company); 2) have invested MAJOR brand and development dollars into the platform (see ArtSheSaid, OnTumblr) going on for over a year now.; 3) Actually have the wherewithall and knowledge to be a good sponsor of this as a company

Please someone who is a grown up at Tumblr listen to the brands that care about you. It isn’t just Users First, Brands Second. Hell at this point you are Users First, Brands never. Take a cue from Michael Lazerow’s comments on that post and realize that brands pay the bills when VCs stop.

Rich Tong-if you don’t actively pursue these options you are not doing your job. You know that Ann Taylor loves Tumblr, you know that we invest money, and yet you have ignored us. Unless I am mistaken your job is “Fashion Director” so act like it.”

Clearly much distaste has been left by Tumblr, Rich Tong, and the new platform for New York Fashion Week. To put things into perspective, this new platform, as absurd as it may be; Tumblr is offering online as well as offline opportunities. Said opportunities begin at $10,000 and will go above $350,000. As I allow your jaws to line back up with the rest of your face I will indulge you what you will get for one hundred grand; this price grants a brand to partner with about 4 bloggers and in turn, each blogger will write a maximum of 15 blogs a day about said brand…that’s it. To have Tumblr represent your brand with a 190×190 promo unit will run your company about a hundred and fifty grand, but that also includes an editorial and sponsorship on their specialty page for New York Fashion Week. As the New York Times only charges a maximum of $30 CPM for much more than a small banner, it is easy to understand why the fashion community has become outraged.

Hopefully there will be more to come as this is clearly not settled…

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