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Will a London cabbie lie for money?

I hope I’m misreading this situation…

A firm called Taxi Promotions UK is paying London cabbies to talk up their clients in what appears to be an ill-conceived stealth marketing campaign. (Full article from the International Herald Tribune.)  Cabbies get free vacations and other rewards in exchange for promoting them to unsuspecting passengers.

But… as far as I can tell, there is no requirement or training for the cabbies to disclose that they are paid salespeople, not "ambassadors" as they call themselves.  They call it "word of mouth" — but it’s not, it’s unethical shilling.

I hope that the cabbies refuse, that clients learns the basics of word of mouth disclosure, and regulators take a good look at this nasty invasive procedure.

Let’s review:  Word of mouth marketing is honest conversation between people who share what they love about a product.  Stealth marketing is paying people to lie for you. 

If it is disclosed – good, if not – bad.

Read the WOMMA ethics code.

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