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Testing a bike and publishing an online article is promotion. It's a plain and
simple contract. No money has to change hands - only 'consideration' (i.e.
something of value for each side). Manufacturer offers product for 'test'.
NSMB accepts product for use. NSMB gets to use the product for free and
manufacturer receives (public) feedback. NSMB gets use of product (or free
product or product at discount - I'm assuming POC doesn't expect return of
used helmets/gloves) and the ever valuable 'content'. Manufacturer takes risk
of potential negative feedback … but that's rare as everyone has to eat. Worst
case odds in most cases is getting '3 stars out of 5'.
If manufacturers didn't want to promote a product via NSMB, they could offer
the product to anyone on the street. Or solely collect rider feedback at a
bike demo event. Or in-house engineering feedback. Or in-house administrative
assistant feedback. But they don't. Because NSMB is a promotional platform
gone long past the days of a simple blog/discussion thread.
For NSMB to weasel out of a sense of responsibility to the MTB community under
the guise of 'we're just educating the consumer' is weak. Even more
hypocritical when NSMB is publically shaming RedBull for disserving the MTB
community for less than optimal Rampage commentary.
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