back to article US gov slaps flack for fake iTunes game reviews

The US Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with a California public-relations firm in which the company agrees to stop posting reviews on Apple's iTunes Store of their clients' games, and take down the ones already posted. The FTC characterizes the reviews, which weren't identified as being written by the firm's …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    got caught

    nope, it wasn't me. someone else did it.

  2. Alex Wells

    Snitker's an idiot.

    Massive diatribe about her companies' ~legitimate business dealings? Smacks of protesting too much, and frankly makes her sound like an incompetent spin doctor and a rubbish PR person.

    PR companies surely should stop their employees doing this (whether they had knowledge or not!) because of the inevitable catching and embarrassing of the company and the product they're employed to promote! It just seems unprofessional.

    However I believe the world doesn't actually work this way and that they will still get paid lots of money for being utterly fucking useless. Which makes her letter to the Reg (with respect, not a massive publication) even odder.

    Oh and Reverb's a shit name for a PR company.

  3. Matt Gerrish

    This isn't new

    Shirley people recall the 'reviews' on the back of Codemasters games in the 80s/90s

    "BMX Simulator is the closest you'll get to the real thing" - David Darling

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ‚PR folk are a christless lot

    They spend their lives polishing turds and when said turds hit the fan they think they did nothing wrong. Snitker is a prime PR poephol.

  5. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
    Thumb Up

    Guilty as charged.

    Sleazy PR. Use whatever words you want Snitker but ultimately I think everyone sees through your thin veil of smoke.

    You are settling with the FTC = guilty. If you weren't guilty then you wouldn't be settling.

    The words that the FTC have used to justify the settlement are only there to give you an out for a slim fighting chance of staying in business.

    As I said. Sleazy PR - guilty as charged.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      not necessarily


      not necessarily guilty because they settled, just cheaper than fighting. Doubt the FTC would pay back their lawyers fees if they were not found guilty. And always a chance of being found guilty even if they aren't.

      I do think they should have a policy about what their employees post though due to apparent COI.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is one of the best-written, accurate and informative tech pieces I've ever read. Would read again. A++++++

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Another great article!

    [author] hits it out if the park again!

  8. Trygve Henriksen

    What a bunch of...

    Haven't those PR blockheads ever heard the term 'Conflict of Interest'?

    Those 'users' should NEVER have posted those reviews even if they were 'just happy with the games'.

    Or if they REALLY felt they had to post a review, they should have added that they were employees of the PR firm hired to promote the game, but posting in a private capacity.

  9. Galidron

    Bad idea but

    It doesn't bother me too much. Depending on the total number of reviews the ones posted by the employees could easily have been insufficient to alter the scoring much.

    The example comments are exactly what I ignore when I'm looking at reviews. They tell me nothing about the product.

    1. CmdrX3

      Moronotosis strikes again!!

      When a company runs a competition, employees or their families are usually not permitted to enter that competition, so what real difference between that and these fools. It's blatantly obvious that people are going to question your motives for posting positive reviews on a product that you are employed to promote, regardless if the feeling towards the product were genuine or not.

  10. CanadianISP

    For a PR firm, this exec is pretty clueless

    Snitker, if she had an ouce of common sense or actual skill in the PR world, should have immediately denounced her employees' behaviour and apologized unreservedly.

    One could almost guarantee she's lost her firm countless numbers of clients, because they're too stupid to even cheat at cheating correctly. I mean, seriously - Your own employees who *benefit* from the apps' success ? Did these halfwits not even think of asking friends or neighbours to post the fake reviews so they wouldn't, you know, be *traced back to them* ?


    To think this is what the education system is cranking out in North America today...

  11. Dan 10
    Thumb Up

    accompanying advert

    I like that right next to this story is an ad for EA's Fifa game series...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    I'm surprised anyones shocked...

    I take it for granted that at least one review of every app in the app store is done by the developer or friends and family...?

    I don't really see the problem, of course your going to say your product's good..

    BMW call their cars the "Ultimate Driving Machine"... but I think they might be a bit biased..

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