back to article EU cracks down on fake blogger astroturfing

Nothing beats word of mouth for getting people to put their hand in their pockets. So it didn't take long for cheeky marketing departments to cotton on to the power of blogs and pose as consumers praising their own particular widget to the skies to help lift their top line. Sneaky, perhaps, but usually legal. Not for much …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder...

    ...whether the "falsely representing oneself as a consumer" clause will put a stop to all those ads that feature actors pretending to be members of the public.

  2. Keith Edmunds

    Take note, The Labour Party

    Hopefully this legislation will stop the Labour Party rewriting parts of Wikipedia to show their leaders in a better light.

  3. Anonymous John

    Do you like astroturf?

    I don't know. I only smoke grass.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Bravo, Phillip Carnell

    As a completely independent person, I have to say that Phillip Carnell's article is the best article I have read on this topic, and indeed it is probably the best article I have read on a website. In fact it is the best piece of writing I have ever read, and I look forward to anything that Phillip Carnell does in the future, such as his forthcoming new book "The Spinach Wars: Malarkey, or Effective Way?", which will be published by HarperCollins in first quarter 2008 for a rrp of $12.95. I hope Phillip Carnell does a speaking tour, and also I would love to hear/see him on major media outlets, because Phillip Carnell has a lot to say and it is all worthwhile. The name itself, "Phillip Carnell", commands respect. If only The Register would commission more articles by Phillip Carnell, perhaps with photographs of the man. I have tattooed his name on my chest with a special knife. Phillip Carnell.

    I choose Paris Hilton as my avatar, although I would much rather have an icon of Phillip Carnell.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this a practical approach.

    Laws are fine in theory, but doesn't this look a bit like a losing battle. How about real bloggers that play up products to get the swag how are they going to know. later alan

  6. Steve Browne

    Whats the point

    If it isnt going to be enforced why bother enacting it ?

    New laws are not needed, what is needed is enforcement of existing laws.

  7. Matthew Smith
    Thumb Down

    For hands that do dishes

    It does seem to undermine the basis of 90% of advertising aimed at the general consumer. What we really need are EU standards for "great", "excellent" and "alluring" so individual excessive claims can be prosecuted. We all have to learn to ignore the hyperbole from all kinds of brand fanboys, not just those with a commercial interest.

    I'm still curious about rainbows and what they taste like.

    And snackfood adverts aimed at children should all carry a health warning about washing your hands before eating with your fingers.

  8. yeah, right.


    The E.U. and most of its member countries have always been much more pro-consumer than North America. I can only hope that this law has a whole bunch of useful side effects, much like the one mentioned by Mr. Coward above.

    Such an attempt for fair advertising wouldn't ever be considered in Canada or the USA, as it's the corporations that run things there, not the voting public. The corporations buy the election for the political party of their choice, which when elected turns around and gives the corporations what they want, under threat of not getting money for the next election.

  9. Fenwar

    how about....

    An EU ban on misleadingly labelled "unlimited" internet access?

    Perhaps Brussels will learn to make itself useful after all?

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    This is great !

    Wow, now Sony is going to have to stop with all those muppets praising the PS3 to high heaven - oh wait, this law is only good for stuff posted in the UK, right ?

    So that means that 99% of the Web is unaffected, right ?

    So it's business as usual then.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ashley Pomeroy

    It's not an avatar. It's an icon summarising the post.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best ever article

    That article was the best article ever written. And CMS Cameron McKenna is the best law firm in the world.

    Phillip Carnell

    PS - this comment may or may not be illegal come April next year.

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