A marketing company in America has been rapped by the Federal Trade Commission for publishing reviews of its clients' games on iTunes. The organisation, Reverb Marketing, has issued a statement suggesting it regarded the matter as trivial and didn't want to spend ages fighting this sort of lawsuit. We haven't put a link to its website in this instance because it was down as this story was being written; that could of course be coincidence.
The ruling follows a change to FTC guidelines this year in which it has come out against companies or their agencies posing as ordinary members of the public.
The issue isn't trivial, but it's not something the FTC should need to be involved in. In early 2009 [URL="http://www.belkin.co.uk"]Belkin[/URL] was caught putting positive reviews on [URL="http://www.amazon.co.uk"]Amazon[/URL] - the story of employer Michael Bayard and his doing so is on [URL="http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/245647/belkin-admits-paying-for-positive-amazon-reviews"]this link[/URL].
What interested many people in this instance was not that a company had done such a thing, not even that a rogue employee would do it, but that the business absolved itself from so much responsibility. Like the case of furniture maker [URL="http://www.habitat.co.uk"]Habitat[/URL] and Twitter in which Habitat hijacked hashtags pointing to Iran and human rights abuses to sell sofas, the company denied this was company policy. In other words they took the person who'd had the idea and hung them out to dry. You could argue that it would be more sensible to revise the training program - if someone's doing something wrong and ...