Faking it online: Floggers exposed
13, August, 2007 Leave a comment
Just yesterday, I talked about online identity theft and faking online profiles. An added dimension to this, is that companies are also faking profiles online, as well as creating fake blogs where fake bloggers, aka “floggers” write about their positive experiences with a certain product or company.
Advertising using new media is set to increase, and many companies are latching on to new media to promote themselves and their products. Using Youtube or blogs are seen as useful means of generating interest amongst consumers and reaching out to consumers. Viral marketing is one of the best ways to get your brand around.
However, companies who try to fake responses by crating fake blogs or having floggers write positive things about them could backfire as in the case of Walmart. It paid floggers to write about their happy experiences at its stores. This could be seen as false advertising and it was pressured into ending that blog.
Also, last month, CEO of Whole Foods was caught making negative comments on his competitor using a pseudonym on various online message boards, and this of course, totally discredited him.
Companies and advertisers need to work at exploiting new media and not abusing it. By all means, they should use blogs and podcasts to reach out to their consumers but they must keep it real. if not, the consequences could be pretty severe. The public does not like to be misled, and the online community is a pretty vocal lot.
How could companies and individuals exploit new media to advertise themselves in a credible way? Do share your views.