The owner of the company responsible for the campaign asking bloggers to upvote positive articles and videos on behalf of Toyota for a $10 gift card apparently acted entirely on her own and Toyota had no connection with the SNAFU. Mommy Networks has shut down her site with a classy apology and exoneration of all other parties we were led to believe were involved. Apologies to Toyota for the mess, and kudos for taking action and standing up for themselves.
This is now posted in place of her business site:
To Crissy and Toyota, I am sorry…
My dream has been to own my company since I was a little girl. I started MommyNetworks.org in August with the idea to help moms find work, and advertising.
Mommy Networks recently began some harmless outreach to other moms in order to build a portfolio, and increase our scope with Mom’s. I own a Toyota-Lexus and with the recent news that came out I wanted to base some outreach and case study development around this topic. I often have fun contests and give aways on Facebook.
I had a big #FAIL.
I went into a realm that was not my own. I am not a PR person, I have a background in HR, and want to help get Mommies jobs and help them find routes to advertise.
I truly apologize to everyone for this issue, and I am closing down MommyNetworks.org in order to reevaluate whether I am built for this kind of endeavor. Crissy was someone that said that she would be interested in future campaigns for advertising and reviews and this only reason I contacted her. I would never cold contact someone.
As for the Care.com issue, my designer and developer left that on my theme when I bought it.
I am responsible for going into this without experience and I am paying the price now.
I apologize to Crissy, Toyota, and everyone else. I messed up, and I hope everyone will leave this as a last comment from my side. I am open to answer questions, but hope everyone will respect my decision to simply fade away and deal with this huge #FAIL in my own way.
UPDATE from DearCrissy, the author of the post about Toyota:
Note: since posting this, I have received an email from Mommy Networks claiming no affiliation with Toyota. There was no mention of this in the email I received, and I could only assume that this was a campaign on behalf of Toyota or Toyota’s PR (in some, trickle-down capacity, at least). There were no omissions in the email below, what you see below is the full text. Bizarre, yes? See bottom of this post for more on this.
Note 2: A member of Toyota’s SM team emailed me, indicating that they in fact have no affiliation with Mommy Networks, and that they are going to “get to the bottom of this.” They noted that they do not support this type of PR outreach. Thank you Toyota for the response. Again, see bottom of post for further updates.
Major kudos to Toyota for addressing this, and while I don’t believe they had any part in this at all at this point, I still maintain that this post has some relevance and importance for bloggers, brands, and PR.
Also, a screen capture that made me proud of corporate America’s serious consideration of the power of social networks: