News Update :

Guidelines about Internet reviews: more integrity online

Friday, August 27, 2010

To those who occasionally ask me whether it is a good idea to hire a few students and flood the review sites and forums with positive stuff about their company or products I give a standard answer: You should definitely do not do that, it is unethical, stupid and most probably someone will sooner or later discover the deception (many examples here), with very damaging results. From now on I will add one more argument to my objection: such practices could be also illegal. According to the NYT online
"The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday that a California marketing company had settled charges that it engaged in deceptive advertising by having its employees write and post positive reviews of clients’ games in the Apple iTunes Store, without disclosing that they were being paid to do so. The charges were the first to be brought under a new set of guidelines for Internet endorsements that the agency introduced last year. The guidelines have often been described as rules for bloggers, but they also cover anyone writing reviews on Web sites or promoting products through Facebook or Twitter."
Good news for those who believe that some guidelines are necessary in order to protect consumers from marketers and businesses that do not realize that the time of the push marketing is definitively over and look for any opportunity to deceive the public.
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