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Tag Archives: ethics

When your reputation is collapsing

I mentioned that I had a great experience using Uber to get around DC. Within days, people started sending me negative articles about what an awful company they are. True or not doesn’t matter here: A company that earns bad word of mouth (especially one that provides a great service) is in trouble.  It takes […]

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I notice when you squeeze me (and I don’t like it)

We use a hosted email service that makes it very easy to add a user with just a few clicks, and it automatically adjusts the bill up. But when you cancel a user, you have to contact them to reduce the price. They could easily automatically reduce the price. They do it willingly on request, […]

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You’ll always get busted. Always.

This is big news. Nineteen companies have just agreed to stop writing fake reviews and to pay $350,000 in fines. Congratulations to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and his team whose undercover investigation caught the sleazery in action. “Operation Clean Turf” found companies were using their employees, freelance writers, and “reputation management” services […]

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Ethical disclosure is ridiculously easy — learn how

We’re required to disclose any form of compensation when writing a blog post, which has led to all sorts of stresses, excuses, legal discussion, and bloviating by bloggers. It’s really easy to do proper, simple, legally-compliant disclosure: Just write a sentence at the start of each post explaining your relationship to whomever is compensating you […]

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Fake reviews are like toupees. No matter how good you think it is, we all know.

Hey, all you fake review-writers: We know when you’re lying. Don’t think you’re going to get away with it. It’s always obvious and you’ll always get caught. Why? It’s just not possible to write a fake review and sound genuine. People can tell. It never sounds right. A simple Google search instantly reveals a pattern […]

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Leah Chamberlin, I’ll give you $100 if you are a real person

If you’re hiring a company to write blog posts for you and have them published as guest posts on blogs, you’re probably getting ripped off. (There are legit content marketing services out there, but many are scams.) Check out the email below. It’s the standard formula that the fake-blog-post industry uses. Fake name, no company, […]

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Which politicians are most corrupt?

State legislators in Texas and North Carolina are taking bribes (sorry, campaign contributions) from local auto dealers to prevent Tesla from selling cars in their state. They are calling it unfair competition. Unfair because Tesla’s Model S outsold the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, and Audi A8 last quarter? Unfair because Consumer Reports is calling the […]

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4 key groups to train on word of mouth ethics

This is a post from our project. Check it out for more great word of mouth marketing tips like this every day. Nobody is going to put their reputation on the line to recommend you if they have any questions about your trustworthiness. It takes a long, long time to build this level of trust — […]

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Q&A: What the new FTC rules mean to you

Following‘s brands-only call last week on the FTC’s new disclosure rules, some folks had some follow-up questions clarifying exactly what these updates mean to them. Below are answers to the most common questions we received. Remember, I’m not a lawyer (I don’t even play one on TV). But, I have testified before Congress, traveled the […]

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