The truth about reviews? Most of them are lies.

Posted on 25th Nov 2011 by Katy Cowan in Blog

It's quite scary how much dishonesty still remains in the advertising world. Even though people have wised up over the past three decades and advertisers have had to find new ways to spark people's interest and buy their client's products or services, there's still plenty of deception going on.

Gone are the days when you could put out a sales message that bent the truth but still won customers. Today, consumers are savvy and not easily fooled. Or are they?

The latest dishonest technique that's reared its ugly head is reviewing. That's right. All those reviews that you see on fashion or home websites? Most of them are lies. Not all of them - some of them are genuine. But some of them aren't.

You see, there are companies out there that truly exist who employ staff to write 'fake' reviews on behalf of their clients. Clients that no doubt include some of the biggest retailers in the world.

Let's face it. The Internet has always been cut-throat, so it's only natural that some brands will want to keep a tight control on what's put out there. Even if it means they deceive.

But why this ongoing need to control what's become uncontrollable? It seems some businesses are stil reluctant to accept that the digital revolution has changed the world as we know it. The old techniques of advertising and marketing just don't work anymore.

The Internet has made sure of that. It's opened up a world of direct communication between brands and consumers, meaning there's now nowhere to hide. 'Transparency' is the key word here. People now demand it and they want the truth from the brands they associate with.

This is a good thing. Not something that should be frowned upon. Brands that truly embrace this new digital era will benefit in the long term.

So when it comes to reviews, what should brands do? Naturally, they'll want to ensure their products are being well received, encouraging others to buy. If a product receives lots of bad feedback, they won't want to include that on their website will they? That's where the temptation to add 'fake' reviews becomes so strong.

I say ditch the lies. If a product isn't working, ditch the product and sell something else. Today, brands have to listen to their customers. That is where the true success lies. And isn't a world without lies better overall? Won't it push up quality, drive competition and provide a better end-result for everyone?

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