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Do Your Clients Ever Place Fake Reviews?

I came across an article on Computerworld that says a 2007 poll found nearly half of Web consumers believe  companies regularly plant  reviews of their products on websites.

It’s a U.S. survey but stakeholder skepticism can be pretty universal (if anyone has similar stats for Canada I’d like to see them).

Companies have been suspected before of hiring people to write positive product reviews, and I myself have been on consumer websites where the reviews sound suspiciously upbeat and cheery about the product in question.

And this isn’t limited to products-I’ve seen overwhelmingly positive reviews on events, programs, and causes sites and forums as well.

It can be tempting for organizations to get the conversation ball rolling in order to promote their cause-especially if they’re new to the web and social media.   Some agency clients may have even been advised to do it.

But with web users and consumers already skeptical about what they read on the web,  such a tactic can easily backfire and have a client-or an agency-labeled untrustworthy.

Can placing a review be effectively done?  Or is it just a bad idea?

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