that seems to be written by a real person, but is in fact a vector employed by an advertising agency, PR firm or corporate marketing department
. Invariably waxes over-enthusiastically about a product, service or company, particularly something brand new and/or trying to increase its market penetration.
Almost always a tool for astroturfing
The term — which has been seen in mainstream publications like The New York Times
as of December 2006 — is believed to be a blend of "fake" and "blog", but also evokes the verb "to flog" in the sense of "to make a sales pitch". It may also refer to the term 'flack' as a name for a person with a journalism degree who specializes in PR.
As of December 12, 2006, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has begun a serious investigation
of so-called "word of mouth" advertising campaigns, which will include flogs among its targets.
Not to be confused with the 'flog' that means Freenet blog
. For the act of flagellation, commonly known as "flogging", see A Taste of the Lash
. Also not to be confused with "The Flog" by Felicia Day
(a blend of "Felicia" and "vlog").
- In October 2006, several blogs that appeared to be written by independent supporters of megastore chain Wal-Mart turned out to be the products of Wal-Mart's public relations firm, Edelman.
- In December 2006, Sony attempted a so-called "viral" marketing campaign for the PlayStation Portable that included fake blogs — and were caught at it within days. To their credit, they fessed up to it almost immediately and even poked a little fun at their failure.
- Several flogs within the past few years (perhaps 2008 to 2010) have appeared for açaí berry supplements, making proud flowery proclamations of grand weight loss using their pills, and linking through sites like Yahoo!! Answers. They're very easy to see through after skimming for just a few seconds, but they're still written as if they're just personal blog entries.