In Good Company Blog

Why I said no to donating my product to a TV show

Whether or not to: Donate candy for a wedding that was being filmed for a “Wedding Inspired” Television show.

Why I was tempted to say yes:
I was tempted to say yes because I thought that this could provide a national, public platform to expose my brand.  I was also tempted to get involved because the host of the show is a party planner to the stars and felt it could be great networking.

Why I ultimately said no:
I ultimately said no because they were offering me a rolling credit at the end of the show.  Candidly, since very few people actually look at the credits, I didn’t feel that a rolling credit would give me much exposure at all and felt I needed more to justify the expense of providing my product.  However, before I flat out said no, I explained my concern to them and offered up some alternatives:  I would agree to donate the candy if they filmed the bride and groom coming to my warehouse and picking out the actual candy that they desired at their wedding OR filmed the bride and groom sitting down with me to discuss their vision for the wedding and come to a conclusion of what candies they desired for their special day.  They unfortunately, were not able to offer any more than the rolling credit.  I declined the offer.

-Lauren Sachs
Sweet City Candy
Destination for premium quality bulk candy, nuts & chocolates, as well as traditional, novelty and gourmet candy at wholesale prices.

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4 Responses to Why I said no to donating my product to a TV show

  1. Ruth Drennan says:

    As someone who makes wedding cakes, I’ve often joked with people that it sometimes feels as though I’m in the business of giving away cake rather than selling it. Between doing cakes for magazines, participating in bridal events, and giving samples to prospective brides, I’m always giving away free product. I accept that it’s part of the cost of doing business, but it’s easy to feel like you’re being taken advantage of at times. Everyone wants something for free.

    I did cakes for a very popular national talkshow last year. I was flattered to be asked, and really did think I would get some good publicity out of it since three of my cakes were featured for one show and then another for their wedding segment. I even supplied cake for everyone on stage and in the audience to sample so that they could express on air how delicious it was. I got an on-air acknowledgment and a credit at the end, but I’m not permitted to post the video on my site, or even mention which show it was.

    If anyone saw my cakes on that show, or knew they were mine, nobody mentioned it, so in many ways it seemed like a loss and a waste of time. However, the celebrity planner who was featured on the show liked my work enough to send one of his real clients (not his TV show clients) to me afterward, which more than covered the costs I incurred doing the show. It also established a priceless business relationship with a very prominent player in my industry that continues to this day.

    I can see why Ms. Sachs declined the offer, and I’m not saying she was wrong to do so because she made her own evaluation, but there are often unforeseen benefits that come from participating in events or giving away your products for free. Sometimes you’ll be burned. Then again, sometimes you won’t.

  2. sunhot says:

    In the situation mentioned in the blog I’d have donated it because nobody knows where it might have led, the tv company may have invited further involvement in the future.
    I also understand why the offer was declined as a business is not a charity, it is just there must be other companies out there and there may have been a reason why the tv company chose sweet city candy initially.
    Sweet City Candy maybe could have introduced ” as seen on tv” to help with its marketing activities.

  3. Rie O. says:

    I have been in the event industry for many yrs in several different capacities – hotels, special event venues, wedding/event planner, planner for an arts organization and on and on. I must say I agree with Lauren’s decision. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had well known FOR PROFIT companies contact me to plead their case about how great it would be for me/us to give hundreds or even thousands of dollars of services/product away for free bc of the “publicity” the “start studded” event or tv show would generate for me/us. Whenever I delved a bit further for specifics: what agency have you retained for press, will we have access to the attendee list, credit arrangements etc it became immediately obvious that the benefits to me were precarious @ best. Let’s face it, a well planned event, runway show, television show etc has budget lines for everything. If they don’t have a budget for it, it’s not a priority and that’s not how you’d want your company featured. Lauren, I commend you for providing an alternative option but apparently they’d rather just go to another company who don’t know better then provide you with a barter that would be valuable to your company.

    Make certain you watch the show when it airs – you’ll feel even better. Trust me I’ve been through the exact same situation (only these producers wanted me to come up with a fully designed wedding for 120 ppl in 12 days)and when I saw the show, I couldn’t even figure out who the designer was (and I was looking!) BTW have you seen how fast some of the credit rolls are, some are unreadable!

    Lauren, good for you for not being “dazzled” by the hollywood bs and really looking @ what’s best for your company. In this economy you cannot pay your bills with fake pr.

  4. Natalie J. Vandenberghe says:

    I would’ve made the same decision. I’m surprised they weren’t willing to accommodate your very reasonable suggestion.

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