eldavojohn writes "So, you pay a PR firm like Reverb to generate some positive buzz for your new mobile game, and what do they do? Hire employees to post fake glowing reviews of your game wherever it's being distributed. The FTC says that's not okay due to regulations enacted last year requiring that paid reviews disclose they are paid reviews. Originally, the fear was that this regulation would target the small-time blogger, but this news of Reverb settling with the FTC over fake game reviews shows that the FTC is also targeting big PR firms. They said, 'We hope that this case will show advertisers that they have to be transparent in their practices and help guide other ad agencies.' The article says fake reviews like those alleged in the complaint (PDF) are pretty much the norm on iTunes. Reverb denies that this settlement is any acknowledgment of wrongdoing; rather, just a timesaver over a costly court battle. Will the FTC continue to make examples of big PR firms? Wait and see."
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