PR firm settles fake iTunes reviews case

 

Accused of not disclosing links with developers.

A US public relations agency has settled a case in which it was accused of posting fake reviews for software on the iTunes store.

Under the proposed settlement, Reverb Communications would remove any endorsements that "misrepresent the authors as... ordinary consumers" and that didn't disclose the relationship between Reverb and the games developer.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had alleged that Reverb and its sole owner, Tracie Snitker, posted the reviews about clients' games between November 2008 and May 2009.

The posts were made using account names "that gave readers the impression the reviews were written by disinterested consumers", according to the FTC complaint.

"Reverb and Snitker did not disclose that they were hired to promote the games and that they often received a percentage of the sales," the complaint alleged.

"These facts would have been relevant to consumers who were evaluating the endorsement and deciding whether to buy the gaming applications."

FTC advertising practices division director Mary Engle said online marketers had to "abide by long-held principles of truth in advertising".

"Advertisers should not pass themselves off as ordinary consumers touting a product, and endorsers should make it clear when they have financial connections to sellers," she said.

An article by the New York Times reported that Snitker had settled "rather than continuing to spend time and money arguing, and laying off employees to fight what we believed was a frivolous matter".

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


PR firm settles fake iTunes reviews case
 
 
 
Top Stories
Qld Transport to replace core registration system
State's biggest citizen info repository set for overhaul.
 
Innovating in the sleepy super industry
There’s little incentive to be on the bleeding edge, so why is Andrew Todd fighting so hard?
 
How technology will unify Toll
The systems headache formed through 15 years of acquisitions.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  39%
 
Your insurance company
  3%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  7%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  7%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  2%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  21%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  15%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  5%
TOTAL VOTES: 899

Vote