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Advertising Age has a long piece looking into the business practices of Vani Hari, known as the 'Food Babe," who uses her website to "brazenly" attack "corporations in the name of better eating as she questions processed-food ingredients and manufacturing methods."

One thing is for sure, Ad Age writes: "As she bashes mainstream food marketers, including Kraft Foods Group and Subway, Ms. Hari is emerging as a powerful brand herself, routinely appearing on national TV, where she is often presented as a food expert. In doing so, the Babe is positioned to capitalize on her growing fame with a burgeoning business model that includes making money by referring her loyal readers to several organic and GMO-free food brands via her website.

"Under the program, known as affiliate marketing, she often posts editorial content praising these small brands, including links to their sites where readers can purchase the goods. She gets a cut of some of the transactions, according to the rules explained on some of her partners' websites."

You can read the entire piece here.
KC's View:
I know a little something about writing a website and trying to make a living at it, and I think that perhaps the Food Babe goes to far by suggesting she has expertise that she, in fact, does not have - she is a former management consultant who is neither a scientist nor a nutritionist.

I'm loathe to throw stones, though. The simple fact is that the internet provides plenty of people with soapboxes that we might not otherwise have. This is a reality that manufacturers and retailers have to grapple with, understanding that some folks get a level of influence that goes beyond what seems appropriate.

It always has seemed to me that the best one can do is try to be honest in what one writes, admit one's biases and mistakes, and be as transparent as possible about who is paying the bills. I've always been lucky about having terrific sponsors with great businesses - if you look at what companies such as MyWebGrocer, Wholesome Sweeteners, Park City Group, Invatron, Webstop and Samuel J Associates, these are companies of integrity that are progressive and innovative - I'm thrilled to be as loyal to them as they've been to me.

Personally, I'd rather provoke thought (and laughter) rather than become an advocate for one cause or another, but that's just my approach. And I always think that when websites go too far, eventually it will catch up with them … credibility is a precious thing, and it is to be protected at all costs.

At any rate, check the story out. See what you think.