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Legality of fake reviews

Discussion in 'ClickBank' started by Zander Boon, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. #1
    Hi,
    SEMrush
    I can find several threads here discussing the legality of faked testimonials. As an Affilliate, rather than a publisher, it started me wondering about faked reviews? Are they also illegal?

    (I'm talking about "against the law", not against Google's rules or ClickBank's rules).

    I can't believe that everyone here who puts together a review page for a product or products has actually bought the eBook and tried the information within, so is the review page legal?

    What about all those Ezine Articles where people (often using pseudonyms) will talk about how they lost weight, or reduced their gas consumption, or made $$$ with Forex Software etc? They're not real. Are they legal?

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers
    Zander
     
    Zander Boon, Feb 16, 2009 IP
    SEMrush
  2. mikey1090

    mikey1090 Moderator Staff

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    #2
    I think as long as the publisher has an earnings disclaimer or similar it may be ok. Not sure about affiliate sites though.
     
    mikey1090, Feb 16, 2009 IP
  3. SiLvER

    SiLvER Well-Known Member

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    #3
    I believe it's perfectly legal. If you wrote it and submitted it and you did not impersonate a real person and used his name it's all nice, doesn't matter wether you are lying.
     
    SiLvER, Feb 16, 2009 IP
  4. bl4ckmaN^

    bl4ckmaN^ Well-Known Member

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    #4
    There's nothing wrong about reviews of affiliates, because all they do is try to promote the merchant's product.

    I wouldn't call them "fake reviews", they are more likely personal opinions. And as you know, every person has got a right for his/her own opinion.
     
    bl4ckmaN^, Feb 16, 2009 IP
  5. wilson4forex

    wilson4forex Peon

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    #5
    from what I know as long as your review is just sticking to the facts such as what you can learn in the book you should be ok, but when you start making claims which are not true such as how much you made using the software when you don't have the software then in my opinion that is illegal.

    To be on the safe side as an affiliate you should always have a privacy policy page and a disclaimer letting people know that you are not an expert and that you have a relationship with the merchant.
     
    wilson4forex, Feb 16, 2009 IP
  6. markov

    markov Peon

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    #6
    With that one cannot make a fake review. To be specific one should state it as personal opinion.
     
    markov, Feb 16, 2009 IP
  7. Zibblu

    Zibblu Guest

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    #7
    All advertising = lies. As a consumer I trust nothing at all. I'm very aware that marketing is all about "brands name awareness" and it has no relationship to the actual product being advertised. Most people don't really think though. That's why advertising is so effective. But I suppose this is getting a bit philosophical and heavy, innit? Back to your question, nah.
     
    Zibblu, Feb 16, 2009 IP
  8. hamidap

    hamidap Active Member

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    #8
    You can write a review on something based on research without having to say you've actually used it yourself. I only mention having used or read the product if I actually have.

    I doubt creating a 'persona' is illegal - it's done all the time in offline marketing as well. With regard to ethics - I guess it's up to the individual themselves how they decide to market a product.
     
    hamidap, Feb 16, 2009 IP
  9. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Peon

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    #9
    If you read the book All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin, it might clear things up for ya.
     
    SoCalDude, Feb 16, 2009 IP
  10. kavi.nayar

    kavi.nayar Peon

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    #10
    And what about translated reviews? I mean, you found a review in french and translated it to english? Can it be considered as "new content"?

    Regards.
     
    kavi.nayar, Feb 16, 2009 IP
  11. Robert25

    Robert25 Peon

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    #11
    If you are writing a personal review about a product claiming a positive side without using it, Its neither ethical nor legal. This is because you create a false story, make them buy and you are the beneficiary.

    Think this way, if you purchased a product on basis on fake reviews and you come to know the fact, you can sue the beneficiary(Affiliate), but I had not heard a single case which is tracked.
     
    Robert25, Feb 16, 2009 IP
  12. Perrow

    Perrow Well-Known Member

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    #12
    No, that would be stealing content. At least from a legal stand point. From a search bot it would certainly be considered new content, but the legality of it is doubtful.

    I agree with Robert, stating "facts" you don't know to be true could/should get you in trouble. But as Robert I've heard of no such case.
     
    Perrow, Feb 16, 2009 IP
  13. Proness

    Proness Active Member

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    #13
    Hmm. Since the person who buys the product (through the fake review) is protected with a 60-day money back guarantee, he can always ask for a refund if he doesn't like the product. So IMHO, its both ethical & legal. You're not trapping or "cheating" someone.

    Fake stories? Isn't copy-writing all about that? Check out the sales pages of all IM products..

    "“A Washed Up Rock Musician Went From Playing For Beer To Making $6,484.00 In A Single Week... A Dirt Poor Warehouse Worker Went From Minimum Wage To Banking $3,179.00 In 1 Day... The World's Worst Insurance Salesman Went From Being $89,391.00 In Debt To Earning 6 Figures In A Single Year...”"

    ..LOL!

    However, just in case, I have a Disclaimer stating that "All information on this page is for informational purposes only, etc." to avoid any trouble.
     
    Proness, Feb 17, 2009 IP
  14. Robert25

    Robert25 Peon

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    #14
    In affiliate marketing not every product have 60 days of many back guarantee. There is a world out of CB, affiliates are selling Big tickets items which cost up to $5000.

    I am selling treadmills, which cost customers upto $2500. Any one can sue me if I make a false personal review.

    There are lots of instances where top brands like Coke and Pepsi have to change their advertise campaign for misleading the viewer. Same aplies to every industry.

    Neglecting fact, dosnt mean its isn't fact.

     
    Robert25, Feb 17, 2009 IP
  15. NickE83

    NickE83 Well-Known Member

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    #15

    Is it true that Seth Godin owns Squidoo?

    It makes sense, cause if you have read his stuff like purple cow, he is really into being unique and standing apart from the crowd, and squidoo does just that with their crazy squid filled layout :p
     
    NickE83, Feb 17, 2009 IP
  16. Proness

    Proness Active Member

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    #16
    Hey there,

    Since this topic was in in the CB forum - I assumed its about "ClickBank" sites. :)
     
    Proness, Feb 17, 2009 IP
  17. antantnz

    antantnz Member

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    #17
    agree ... take for example the latest ads on tv for eye lash enchancing makeup ... they claim to make your lashes incredibley long, but down the bottom right hand of the corner is a little note saying something to the effect of "fake eyelashes used in this ad" :D
     
    antantnz, Feb 17, 2009 IP
  18. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Peon

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    #18

    Yes that was his Star Up. He seems to practice what he preaches.
     
    SoCalDude, Feb 17, 2009 IP
  19. booradley1234

    booradley1234 Peon

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    #19
    By all means, go for it. You can make up all the stuff you want, as long as you don't claim it as true then you should be all good.
     
    booradley1234, Feb 17, 2009 IP