But a backlash among high-profile bloggers like New York-based Liz Gumbinner of Mom-101.com escalated concerns over Mom Central's relationship between their clients and blogger partners.
"When bloggers work as part of a paid marketing campaign, they have an obligation to understand what they write about, and in this case, I don't think they were well-briefed on why this issue is controversial," says Gumbinner, who does not participate in Mom Central campaigns. "The CRA is a powerful lobbying group, and not a consortium of farmers. I think there was a misunderstanding among the bloggers."
Los Angeles-based mom-blogger, Jessica Gottlieb says, "This is an absolute nightmare that moms are making themselves available to the Corn Refiners for a pat on the head."
Gottlieb says she doesn't think the moms are producing pro-HFCS to be malicious, but says for bloggers who live check-to-check, a small gift card can make a huge difference.
Houston-based blogger, Lisa Stauber recently severed her business relationship with Mom Central. Stauber says she isn't privy to how the specific blogger selection process works, but that once selected, mom bloggers are invited to participate in a campaign; told to create posts of approximately 1,000 words, including four key-words and two links; and in return are offered $50 or $100 in electronic gift certificates for places like Amazon or Wal-Mart.
Ironically, Mom Central held a campaign earlier this summer touting the benefits of Hunt's HFCS-free ketchup.
Requests for comment for this story from Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Mom Central and Theresa Pompa, social media manager for CRA were not returned.
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