Bogus Review Crackdown Appearance
The FTC [Federal Trade Commission] Bogus Review Crackdown seems to be in full swing. If you have paid much attention at all, by now it’s most certainly likely you are fully aware of the FTC’s bogus review crackdown on vendor websites that use false reviews, testimonials or endorsements coming at us in various form. All in an effort at selling us something that doesn’t, nor will ever, produce the results for which you, the consumer was hoping for.
Just about a week before the news of the FTC’s bogus review crackdown broke in the media, Shopper’s Briefer posted a blog about guru marketing rip-offs. This blog focuses on fake reviews published by supposed gurus of the internet slamming other products or services that compete directly with whatever it is they are selling.
These bogus review authors do their most effective work by trashing the competitor with flamboyant testimonials of bad experiences, often enhanced by a bogus third-party “positive” endorsement of their own product. This is all targeted at getting you and I to spend even more money on their supposed “better” solution for the challenge that sent us off on the search in the first place. A quote taken from the blog site Affiliate Marketing: FTC Busts Fake Review Site stated it well:
“Whether they advertise directly or through affiliates, companies have an obligation to make sure that the advertising for their products is not deceptive. Advertisers using affiliate marketers to promote their products would be wise to put in place a reasonable monitoring program to verify that those affiliates follow the principles of truth in advertising.”
David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Bill Parlaman’s blog is a good short-and-sweet read on this issue. He didn’t ask me to mention it, nor is this site getting paid to say so! Go there and read it for yourself or Google “FTC bogus reviews” if you’d rather. You’ll come up with plenty of stuff!
The FTC’s guidelines implemented as a result of this recent bogus review crackdown are not new! They’ve been on the books for over thirty years going back to 1980. As you’ll notice by accessing this FTC pdf file, there’s a re-write happening now. That’s good! Legitimate, honest affiliate marketers support cracking down on those who knowingly do these things.
This is a great start from the perspective of clamping down on reviews misrepresenting product by imposing false testimonials and unscrupulous endorsements or claims made by people who were paid to use it [or not], then give some bogus review about their experience, collecting their fees and going on to the next deal. This is something that is overdue on the enforcement side and the FTC should be applauded for!
Shopper’s Briefer was launched on January 13th, 2012 to combat such deviant bogus review marketing strategies. When any review posts on this site, it will come from first hand experience, supported with documentation to support the point of view offered in the review or it simply won’t present itself beyond the simple status of a “comment” about said product or service.
There needs to be honesty and forthrightness in the internet market. A marketplace where the less scrupulous have been pervasive since it’s inception requires the scrutiny of us all. Critical bogus review occurs on the back side of the issue as well, as described in the blog Guru Marketing | Shoppers Perspective.