Your Opinion on "paid reviews"

Discussion in 'Graphics and Semiconductor Industry' started by chavvdarrr, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. chavvdarrr

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    What's your opinion on reviews which are paid down - with condition that results will be "satisfactory" for the one who gives the money.
    The reason for my question is that I just read somewhere :), that yesterday such offer was made to a site which is discussed from time to time here (the site is not focused on video cards). They rejected the offer ... but i wonder if it was wise... (actually I proposed they should accept the offer&money and then make real review ... ;) )
    an excerpt from the offering: [q]
    xxxx (ICQ# ) Wrote:
    We are confidence on X product..... normally, we pay for the website (example: *****tech, ****hardware) to review the card ....
    we want to ensure a great review and good result on it.[/q]
     
  2. bloodbob

    bloodbob Trollipop
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    Well if you accept the money and gave anything but a unsatisfactory review then people can say that you are getting paid to do it and you have no journalistic integrity.

    What they should have done is say is no we get paided get incoming from advertise from our users and they are our main income which we don't want to loose however it would be in our interest and the interest of the users to do a completely unbaised review of your products if you want our honest opions please feel free to send your product our way.
     
  3. cthellis42

    cthellis42 Hoopy Frood
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    Not only would accepting such a deal show the cratering of the reviewer's journalistic integrity, but I'm almost at the point where I think them not publicly mentioning the exact wording of such an offer is irresponsible as well. I'm in favor of a TOTAL disconnect in this regard, and really those practices have to be exposed whenever possible to keep them from BECOMING more prevalent. (As it's certainly easy and desirous for companies to do.)
     
  4. hjs

    hjs
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    A paid review should start with a disclaimer.

    This review is sponsored by ...
     
  5. bloodbob

    bloodbob Trollipop
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    In australia we had this as a big problem in radio and they brought in more laws to stop it but what is rather stuiped is if a radio announcer is a major share holder in the company and the *sponsor as such* gives $$$$ to the company and the announcer gives incredibly favourable views then nothing is done :x .
     
  6. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Gads, I WISH someone would pay me to review stuff! :shock:

    I dunno, as long as you included a large disclaimer that it was paid for and were honest I don't have a problem with it.
     
  7. jb

    jb
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    I agree that this info should be made public knowledge right away as we have a right to know......
     
  8. RussSchultz

    RussSchultz Professional Malcontent
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    I think you're overstating your rights.

    Its nice to know, of course, but there's not "right to know".
     
  9. horvendile

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    Or - what's your opinion on things that are intrinsically bad? :wink:

    That doesn't explicitly state that the condition is a favourable result. Naturally, if one is paid to do the review there is a half-hidden incentive to make it favourable, but that's not the same thing as being legally obliged to.
     
  10. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
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    Without wanting to go off topic...

    Based on your quote:
    I seriously wonder which IHV wrote that.
    The style is NVIDIA/BB-like, but that's just usual PR-man style. The fact it was done on ICQ though seems strange.

    From my understanding, NVIDIA did most of these things through MSN. Although I really can't claim to know that too well.

    So... If it was done through ICQ... Either it's not NVIDIA, or I'm wrong. And if I'm right...


    Although...
    Considering the quote is most likely talking of "Anandtech" and "Tom's Hardware", I'd still bet it's NVIDIA. And BB talking.
    Typical BB style ;)

    Hmm...


    Uttar
     
  11. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Paying for a positive review changes the reviewer to a paid spokesman, end-o-sentance. :)
     
  12. WaltC

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    Usually, such agreements are not merely verbal but require signed contracts between the parties which stipulate the reviewer will do a,b, and c, and nothing else apart from a,b, and c, because the paying sponsor has already determined that a, b, and c, will provide it with the kind of results it wants to see published. These are actionable contracts which provide at most law-suit fodder should the review site do a "real" review instead of the rigged review it has agreed to, and at the least the web site won't receive payment until the review has been published, and in a case of non-compliance no payment will be made. So you can see that in these cases doing a "real" review in abeyance of the one they agreed to do would be pretty much impossible.

    Also, it always pays to remember that people lie--and that they spin yarns from all sides of the issue. When someone says, "We were offered the same deal but turned it down," that may, or may not, be true. It could easily be that they were never offered a similar deal in the first place, and that had they been offered it they'd have jumped all over it immediately...:) You can never be sure of comments like these when you read them.

    As a matter of policy, I think all IHV product reviews done on web sites should be paid for by the IHV, in addition to providing the review products, of course. That's because they essentially represent advertising, especially when they concern pre-shipping prototypes reviewed with pre-released drivers. However, the web sites should not agree to be constrained to IHV demands on how the products are to be reviewed--review methodology should be at the sole discretion of the web site. It is at this last point that most web sites cave in and knuckle under, as they become fearful of being "scooped" by a rival site, and this plays right into the hands of the IHV.

    The problem is really not so much that IHV PR departments try to see their products presented in a positive light, it's that some people will do or write anything in order to get paid...:) Technical journalism is not without its own share of whores...:D
     
  13. Pete

    Pete Moderate Nuisance
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    Paid review = infomercial. Infomercials hosted on TV are normally preceded by a disclaimer ("The following opinions do not reflect those of this station..."), and I would expect the same from websites.

    Although you could say IHVs are already paying websites by giving them review cards. I believe the 5900U review cards, most of them engineering samples, went on sale immediately after their reviews. Lame.
     
  14. chavvdarrr

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    afaik the company was neither NVidia nor ATi ...
     
  15. Pete

    Pete Moderate Nuisance
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    That doesn't leave too many alternatives, unless you're not ruling out AIBs that use ATi/nV chips.
     
  16. Jakub

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    No way. You'll need it for future testing. If you sell your sample card, you'll just have to buy another one when the time comes for a review that needs it for comparison.
     
  17. Pete

    Pete Moderate Nuisance
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    That depends on how certain you are of receiving subsequent review samples from AIBs (e.g., eVGA/MSI). :)
     
  18. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Good gods, I couldn't even imagine selling a video card for money!

    Mebbe I'm weird, but I just happen to fall in love with hardware too easily.

    I'll give away a viddy card to a good home where I know someone will appreciate it, but to get rid of one just for money?!?

    Sacrilige. :(
     
  19. hjs

    hjs
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    I helped once a friend in buying a Hercules TNT2 Ultra from a reviewer (already in the geforce age, hercules was bought by guillemot, so an older card but hardly used)
    more recent a company asked the importer to get a sample card back, the reviewer didn't want to send it back :)

    And i was at home of a reviewer 2 years back (after Cebit 2002 in germany), and he had a lot of review cards on top of a closet, but he refused to sell me one :roll:
     
  20. ben6

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    Hrm I've never sold any videocard I reviewed . Kind of sad looking at a box of cards that range the gamut from Diamond S3 Stealth 2000 (Virge) to 5900 Ultra and 9800.

    As to the topic, there's been occasions where a vendor wanted first refusal on a review I wouldn't agree to those terms and didn't get to review it , but ah well...
     
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