A new and deceptive advertising tactic has hit the web, and like any great marketing campaign you might not even know you’re being targeted until you are sucked in to the ruse. Companies are creating fake blogs or paying existing, popular bloggers to drop glowing reviews into their entries without notifying readers the blogger is being compensated.
Technorati, arguably the center of the blogosphere, is currently tracking upwards of 63 suspicious blogs, with doubtless many more as yet unnoticed. Sony, Wal-Mart and Court TV are three companies that have been enmeshed in such deceptive practices this year, and all were sussed out by savvy readers. What’s the big problem? Deceptive advertising practices are prohibited by the Federal Trade Commission. Leading readers to believe that a great review of a product is independent when it is actually paid is, in fact, deceptive. So the next time you see a great recommendation on a blog, think for yourself. Unless it’s this one, in which case you should listen to everything we say. For real.