The thorny subject of fake reviews has been in the media recently, with allegations about false five-star reviews on Amazon and interviews with self-confessed fake review writers. There has also been a greater focus on falsifying academic records on both sides of the Atlantic, coupled with a crackdown on dissertation writing firms.
Fake content is a topic G75 Media feels very strongly about, since trust is a cornerstone of our copywriting services. Before getting into the specifics of why this matters, it’s important to clarify our position on fake reviews:
- We have never sought or published fake reviews for any of our online profiles or accounts. As a result, you’ll occasionally see other copywriting agencies ‘scoring’ more highly than us on review sites, even though a cursory glance at their websites and marketing materials might not suggest they’re the best in the business.
- We’ve never written a glowing testimonial that we didn’t wholeheartedly stand by. We rarely review service providers; if we do, it’s because our experience justifies it. If we have criticisms, we tend to address them directly to the company or individual, giving them a reasonable chance to address these issues.
- When writing on behalf of clients, we deliberately avoid belittling and bad-mouthing their competitors. Even when a rival brand is clearly falling short of the standards our clients have set, we promote the latter’s achievements rather than denigrating the former. Negative advertising should be left in the 1980s, where it belongs.
- We don’t use social media as a steam valve or echo chamber. Like everyone reading this article, we’ve had good and bad client experiences in recent times. Unlike some people, we don’t resort to splashing hyperbolic language over social media platforms. At worst, we’ll discuss any marketing lessons to be learned from high-profile failures.
Our word is our bond
The cynic might wonder why any of this matters. After all, consumers know fake reviews exist. We recognise the temptation to use emotive phrases like “ruined” and “worst ever” to illustrate disappointment or frustration. And it’s hard to escape the fact that copywriting is a cut-throat industry, where earning any form of income is often challenging.
However, some things are more important than boosting your monthly turnover, or filling the working week with projects. Fake reviews are deceitful, and false writing of any kind is morally unjustifiable. If you spend your days writing fraudulent reviews for products and services you’ve never experienced, you’re effectively a professional liar. Anything you subsequently say will be tainted by association, and you’re also making life harder for everyone who still places their trust in online content.
In a virtual world where the senses of touch, smell and taste are non-existent, the written word is all-powerful. Abusing it for short-term corporate gain is as unforgiveable as it is unacceptable. While positive PR and promotional content inevitably only tells one side of the story, at least these stories are rooted in fact. That’s where the true power of written communications comes from, and it’s something G75 Media will continue to champion in every article, blog and promotional feature we produce.