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Comcast bribes bloggers to get positive word of mouth

Comcast is using PayPerPost to generate false positive blog reviews.

Pure sleaze.

Calling all geeks:  I’m looking for a volunteer to help create a website / wiki to catalog and expose companies that are stupid enough to try this. Contact me!

FTC: This is exactly they behavior you said would be worth investigating. Comcast is deserving of your special attention in so many ways.

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Comments

  1. Michael Rubin, Arment Dietrich September 20, 2007 at 1:57 pm #

    I don’t get it. What is so difficult to understand about posting a tag, “This post was sponsored by PayPerPost, with whom I have a business relationship where I receive compensation for the posts I write.”
    Each of these posts you linked came off as paid ads. If that’s what they are, SAY SO. It’s not hard to do. Without any sort of disclosure, these posts comes off as sleazy and are shilling in the clearest definition of the word. Boy, I can’t wait for the FTC to take these folks to the cleaners.
    Folks, it’s really simple: Disclosure does not diminish credibility, it *heightens* it.
    Disclosure: I worked with Andy at WOMMA and am damn proud of it.

  2. Susan Gunelius September 22, 2007 at 9:41 pm #

    I have to join the bandwagon here and say that I dislike paid posts that don’t disclose themselves as paid posts per the client’s request.
    There are a number of pay-per-post companies around who allow clients to post opportunities that request no disclosure be made in the post indicating it was paid for. I’ve read that both PayPerPost and Blogsvertise work this way, although PayPerPost might be moving toward requiring disclosure. SponsoredReviews, on the other hand, requires disclosure. Don’t quote me on this, it’s just what I learned from a writers forum I belong to. I haven’t researched these companies firsthand yet.
    In terms of Comcast, using paid posts without disclosure is a “bottom of the barrel” tactic.

  3. Craig Danuloff October 2, 2007 at 8:33 pm #

    Andy: Some simple detective work proves this is not Comcast involved in the Pay-Per-Post. It is a Comcast affiliate, GoBroadband, Inc.
    (http://www.gobroadband.com/about_gobroadband.html)
    You’ll note that all the links in the paid-posts go to ‘www.comcastinfo.com’ and gobroadband is listed in the footer. You can also verify that the comcastinfo.com domain is not owned by Comcast Corporation.
    I figured all this out with 5 minutes of investigation, but I can also tell you that we work on the organic search optimization for Comcast.com and from that vantage-point I’m aware of no existing paid link or blogging programs of any kind.
    Thanks, – Craig Danuloff

  4. Andy Sernovitz October 3, 2007 at 9:04 am #

    Craig —
    It looks like you may be right. That’s for catching that. One of the most exciting thing about the blogosphere is how citizen can help make reporting more accurate.
    On the other hand, “it was our affiliates” is the oldest excuse in the book. The #1 reason we all get so much spam is because companies use their affiliate programs to shield themselves from responsibility. If Comcast pays for the customers, they are responsible for what their agents do.
    Read this:
    http://www.damniwish.com/2003/01/401_the_stoppin.html

  5. Comcast Sucks December 27, 2008 at 3:33 am #

    Good discovery Andy!
    Comcast without warning selectively blocked access to certain websites I frequent. I was down without my personal email for several days and had to resort to my wireless broadband card. I called their customer service and was given the run around. It’s time we as consumers make these monopolies accountable for their actions!

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