Interesting tweet I picked up this morning from SEO Chicks
“Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008” This interesting law comes in to force on May 28th 2008 and within the UK stands to criminalise some regrettably common practices
It seems that fake blogs (“flogs”), like those from Sony and Walmart, will become not just black hat in the UK, but illegal!
This seems like a victory for the UK consumer, if of course it really does work out that way (how many times have we seen promising legal moves turn out to have no teeth?).
The law outlaws activities that include:
“Falsely claiming or creating the impression that the trader is not acting for purposes relating to his trade, business, craft or profession, or falsely representing oneself as a consumer.”
Just to recap, Walmart faked a blog about a family RV tour, as Jack at the Guardian describes
The blog, launched Sept. 27, was profiled in this week’s issue of BusinessWeek, which exposed the site as a promotional tactic engineered by Working Families for Wal-Mart (WFWM), an organization launched by Wal-Mart’s public relations firm Edelman. WFWM paid for the RV and all travel expenses, rerouted the trip’s original plan, and plastered a logo on the RV’s side. Although the blog featured a link to WFWM, it did not identify the organization as a paid sponsor.
Advertising Age fills us in on the fake Sony blog
a blog titled alliwantforxmasisapsp.com (which has apparently been taken down by Sony) that featured two guys trying to spread the word about convincing family members to get one of them a PSP for Christmas.
Except the whole thing wasn’t really a blog — a fact revealed by cyber sleuths who looked up the domain’s registration Sony’s fake PSP blog effort appears to have backfired on the marketer — and provided an important lesson for other marketers and their ad agencies.
Sony’s fake PSP blog effort appears to have backfired on the marketer — and provided an important lesson for other marketers and their ad agencies. file. It was all just an advertising ploy. Once this news broke, it only took a matter of hours for the word to spread and the rapid fire comments and responses began.
So “astroturf” blogs, fake reviews and probably paid reviews might well fall under this law.
Let’s hope it does come into being, and spreads to the rest of those countries who care about the intertubes!