And I said that they wouldn't "refuse loan products"
As in, they wouldn't simply cover products they get for free (blagging) simply so they can get hold of them, they would also accept and cover loan products to broaden coverage and maintain integrity.
I didn't say "refuse to return loan products," that, in most cases, will make the supplier in question just go "mmmkay" and send you an invoice.
Most readers would be none the wiser to the circumstances under which I, or any other publication, obtain products, so I don't know how that's relevant!
Any competitions that I do run normally involve brand-new stuff straight from the supplier/PRs who are obviously getting publicity from those competitions. I wouldn't want to give year old, second rate, post-review junk away as a competition prize... most of it I either use for all eternity if it's good, or stuff in storage until someone wants to dig through it and lay claim.
I think you'll find that they have giveaways and competitions with the free samples:
a) To attract more readership through word of mouth
To clear their offices of the mountains upon mountains of ex. review junk that mounts up... seriously, it's ridiculous. See "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep" for references to "Kibble." Or is it "Kipple"?
If it works the way you think it works, then how on earth is any semblance of integrity established in the games journalism world? Simple: if a game sucks, we say so. Readers are not stupid, they don't know what we do or do not get free, but they do know if we gave a steaming pile of fetid turd a good review. We maintain integrity by giving poor products the reviews they deserve.
Anyway, this is all horrendously off topic now!
If I get my hands upon a review sample Pandora, great, from a bunch of guys with, I guess, very little funding in the marketing department I'm not expecting free handouts. I'll probably buy a Pandora when the fuss dies down and provide news/review coverage of the free titles as I did with the GP2X way back when and the Nokia N810 more recently.. albeit not to the scale I wanted to. A one off review of the Pandora facilitated through a loan would be good, but is nothing compared to continuous coverage.