Friday, August 23, 2013

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery... Or is it?!

Hey, everyone. Today I had a fun His & Hers outfit post with my hubby planned... But something came up. 
And I just felt the need to write about it. 

After two years of blogging, it happened to me.

I saw a post on Facebook from a company that I recently collaborated with. I truly fell in love with their product, and I gave an honest opinion on my blog. The company had posted the link to another blogger's review. I didn't know this blogger, but of course, I was interested, since I wanted to know how other bloggers felt about the products. I was reading through... 

And I started to feel sick. 

There were paragraphs explaining the product. Cool, right? The company gave us information about the product, so we could better talk about it. Of course that text would align. Then came this other blogger's actual, first-hand review. It wasn't word for word like mine... But it hit the exact same points. In the same exact order I wrote them.

At first, I thought maybe it was a coincidence. But the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it was. Here we are, two very different people. In different stages of life. There was no way we wrote those exact same things in that same order.

I decided to use Elite Therapeutics shampoo and conditioner for a week before I decided to give my review, so that I could really see what it did to my hair. I've gotta say, it's been really amazing! With my old shampoo, after washing my hair, it would be all tangley until I put conditioner in it. With the Elite Therapeutics shampoo, it was already silky before I even put the conditioner in! On top of that, the shampoo and conditioner smell super delicious! I can smell it even over 12 hours after washing. 

how hard it is to write your OWN personal experience!? come on.

I left a comment, saying that it sounded extremely similar to my review (that comment didn't get approved to be published). I immediately got an email saying that she didn't say anything like what I said. I was confused, so I quickly got back on her post, and wellll... That paragraph was GONE. Poof. Into thin air. I even hit CTRL+F to search for the same phrases she used. Nothing.

I replied back, attaching a screen shot of that paragraph she wrote, that was now gone {busted}.

She emailed back again, saying that she did not delete it.

I refreshed her blog, and THERE IT WAS AGAIN.

I just felt so so sick. I felt cheated. It wasn't a big deal, I totally understand that coincidences happen, but the fact that she was playing with my head like that made me so upset. She even said after that, "our reviews are similar, but they are not the same". UHMM LADY EXCUSE ME!? First you delete it, then you basically admit that it is still there?! There is not a chance that we both happened to write a similar paragraph, hitting the same points in the same order. I told her to forget about it.

Of course, I couldn't leave this alone, so I contacted the company's public relations manager. The PR manager apologized, and said she'd take care of it.

I felt a million times better.

I don't care what the blogger does, I don't care how she thinks of me.
I just want to sincerely apologize for anyone that this has happened to. I know that for me, as a blogger of two years, I have worked hard on my blog for it to become what it is today (and it still has a looong ways to go!). I can't even imagine how people in bigger business/life situations must feel when their work gets plagiarized. I know I was being a total drama queen, but still, I just felt so very uncomfortable in that situation. Ugh.

I'll be honest, I'm going to feel a little guilty next time I wear a "J Crew Inspired" necklace... Where do we draw the line? What is right, and what is wrong? What would you have done in my situation? Was I out of line to immediately accuse her?

Brooke wrote a great post about this topic a last month. Read it here.
Rachel Sayumi is not impressed.
post signature


Jess said...

awww! that's so messed! this happened to me for the first time a few months back from a random girl i happened to stumble upon. it was only two whole sentences out of my entire post but it was still so weird... i think we pride ourselves in our unique, blog voices and to find out that someone is trying to copy you can be upsetting! i mostly just laughed it off and decided she was merely "inspired" by my post. you're just an amazing blogger and people want to be just like you! keep your head up girl. :) xx

Erika Dannelly said...

That's SO weird. The whole point of blogging (I would think) is that the person blogging loves to write... about whatever it is they may be focusing on: fashion, products, life experiences, etc. Why in the world would you even HAVE a blog if you have to use somebody else's words to come up with a post? That seems so oxymoronic to me!

No, you weren't wrong to do what you did. I think you probably handled the situation the best way you could've. Way to go Rachel Sayumi ;) So sorry that had to happen to you. But I guess your title is true... think of it as flattery.

As far as the "J. Crew inspired" necklace point you make, that's kind of a hard one... my first instinct is to say that I think those types of things are OK. Not everyone can afford to buy a J. Crew necklace, and I think by adding the word "inspired" it sort of makes it OK. It's like when you write a paper, and you DO use someone else's words, you put them in quote marks and add the reference at the end. That makes it OK. It's not copying; it's attributing. So maybe the necklace thing is along those same lines? Maybe? I dunno... ;)

On the bright side, that picture is adorable! (Sorry for my novel of a comment haha)

K&R said...

sowwy, but i guess just consider yourself as being awesome enough to be copied. that only happens to awesome people. and i mean at least the pr people were nice. as for the girl some girls be cray cray and there's nothing you can do about that. love you. miss you. text me.


Justin Porter said...


Budget Splurge Beauty said...

There's a difference in being inspired by something, like with a jcrew necklace, and simply recreating someone's work and passing it off as your own. There's a huge difference! The fact that the blogger had the opportunity to work with a company and didn't even provide an honest review is so shady! I mean how hard is it to review shampoo? Like you said the even weirder part was the fact that she deleted it, then re-added it, etc. SUPER shady! I hope that the word gets out not to work with this blogger. there are plenty of honest, hard working bloggers who deserve a collaboration, time shouldn't be wasted on someone who can't even bother to write her own review! Sorry if that sounds mean and ranty, I just really feel for you.

Nathalie Nielson said...

Well it looks like she changed it now because it is totally different from what she first wrote. She felt guilty!!

Marsa said...

eeeeeeew what a creeper :(
she was probably just too lazy to do her own review and wanted to copy yours because yours was so awesome. i've had that happen to me before on MYSPACE. lol remember that thing? ya, well one of my friend's friends who i never met before thought it would be cool to copy my entire myspace layout. it was seriously the EXACT same. she didn't even bother to change a single thing. LOL like really? when my friend told me i was soooo mad. which is ridiculous but i was haha. i totally called her out and she told me that she got her design from a "random web page" which was a total lie because I designed my layout myself and took pride in it. people these days, seriously. get a grip baahaha

okay done ranting.
and you are amazing :)

Bri Rios said...

What a complete loon!!!! I'm glad that you called her out on her crap, and took it to the PR representative. That was the right thing to do. I'm sorry that this had to happen, it always stinks to see someone take your words or your ideas and try to claim them as their own :/ Just know that you are AWESOME. And she sucks haha


Brooke @ Silver Lining said...

It sounds like she was SUPER desperate. Like, desperate enough to change her review and lie about it and change it back and everything. Good for you to go to the PR person. (And thanks for the little shoutout too.)

Faith said...

I'm glad you called her out.

Lauren @ Style Elixir said...

VERY interesting!! Way to go, lady.

Thank you for linking up with Friday’s Fab Favorites!

Lauren xx

Rachel said...

Where I grew up, pirated dvds and pirated brand name clothes are available everywhere...and as a writer, as an artist, I've always been strongly against any and all types of plagiarism as well as supporting plagiarism. It's very hurtful to have something you created of your own stolen.

Danielle Wallace said...

Hey but at least they named the necklace "J. Crew inspired necklace!" So don't feel bad wearing it! She didn't name her post "Rachel Sayumi inspired product review" haha!

<3 danielle

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

ya it was way annoying!! I'm so sorry it happened to you as well, ugh it is just so irritating!! Thanks JEss xx

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

Ya I didn't get it either!!! SO weird. Thanks for your support, Ka :) I always love it when you comment.

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

you're the best

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

Fuhhh realz!

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

Thanks for your perspective!! You are totally on page. Ya she was way shady lol. It's okay, you are so sweet. Thanks for the comment and support!

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

Ya I saw! I think the company made her change it, thankfully!

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

haha myspace! That's irritating though, I'm sorry Marsa-chan!! ): hahah

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

hahah ya she was interesting for sure!!!!! Thank you Bri :DD

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

Ya I think she was hahah! No worries, I Reallyyy liked your post!

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

thanks for your support! I'm glad I did, too, or else it would have still bugged me!

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...


Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

Interesting!! You're from Malaysia, right? It really it hurtful, it wasn't even THAT big of a deal but I felt cheated!

Rachel Sayumi ♥ said...

that totally makes sense! THanks Danielle haha I wish she credited me lol!

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