Donate Any Amount and Get Free Advertising for Life

John Chow dot Com reader Sorin Iclanzan sent me this very unusual ReviewMe request. Sorin is from Romania and has a very interesting story to tell.

We are a young couple from Romania with a hair raising story to tell. I am Sorin Iclanzan and together with my future wife, Naomi, we set up to build a life of our own and make a family. Nothing out of the ordinary. After all, this is what most people want to do, right? Well, this is where the ordinary stuff ends.

Some 15 years ago I was diagnosed as being HIV positive or having AIDS. It took me all those years and a lot of suffering just to accept myself, what I have and who I am. It was through God’s love and support that I was able to find a meaning in life.

Naomi entered my life two years ago and about in the same period we fell in love. We decided to get married and have a family. The big problem is that her parents don’t agree with our relationship as she is not HIV positive. The love we have for each other is so strong that we decided to go forward without the support of her parents. On the other hand I have full support from my parents and I thank God for that.

Like most young couples getting married, the Iclanzan’s main problem is money – they don’t have any. Sorin Iclanzan wants to raise enough money to cover their wedding expenses and buy a modest home. How does he plan on doing that? Well, he’s hoping you would pay for it.

Donate Any Amount and Get Free Advertising


Sorin Iclanzan has set up a HIV Donate page where people can donate to his wedding/house fund. In exchange for your donation, you will be listed on either the Donors page or the home page. While Sorin says donate any amount and get free advertising for life, it’s not how it actually works.

Donations of $5US or more will get a listing on the Donors page. In order to get a nice little 117×60 ad on the home page, you need to donate at least $1,000US. There are 112 ad spots on the home page. If Sorin sells them out, he would have a minimum of $112,000US, which I’m sure can buy more than a modest home in Romania (please correct me if I’m wrong).

This Is Going To Be a Tough Sell

This is going to be a really hard sell because of the way Sorin has the site set up. For one thing, the site doesn’t tell his story very well. If anything, it looks like a cash grab and I really doubt Sorin will get any donations with the site in its current state. Instead of those ad blocks, his story needs to be at the forefront. Readers are not going to donate to you unless they connect with you.

There is also a huge credibility issue because of the lack of information about Sorin and his bride to be. How about showing us some pictures? Maybe show the doctor’s report on your condition, letters of support from friends and family members, any news articles written about you, etc. The only thing I was able to find out was your name is Sorin Iclanzan and you do live in Romania. You also own the three sites listed on the home page and the four sites listed on the donors page. It looks like you know how to create websites. Do you have a blog about living with AIDS? These are all questions readers will have and will want answered before they will get behind you and support you.

This Is Not PayPerPost

Sorin Iclanzan sent the following note with his review request:

As a desperate measure to raise some money for my wedding and to buy a home I am giving away free advertising for life for donations. I am promoting the website thus it will get a lot of traffic and a high PR. Please make it clear that it is a good deal. You can write whatever you like as long as it will work in my benefit. Thank you!

Unlike PayPerPost, ReviewMe does not allow advertisers to request a positive review. So, I can write whatever I want but it does not have to be to Sorin’s benefit. However, I hope my recommendations for improving his site does benefit him. I wish him and his new bride the best of luck and look forward to reading his full story. Then I might make a donation.