Online reputation management is a relatively new industry. Sure, it has been around for a few years but few people understand what ethical reputation management entails.
The guys that got sued in this case definitely didn’t get it at all:
Today’s announcement is the result of a yearlong investigation that included a sting operation in which Schneiderman’s investigators posed as the owner of a Brooklyn yogurt store with poor online reviews, asking a reputation management firm to drum up positive support. The investigation uncovered what the NYT calls a “a web of deceit” engaging in astroturfing that stretched to Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Eastern Europe. In addition to recruiting foreign aid in their quest for five stars, reputation managers were also caught bribing clients’ customers to write positive reviews with gift certificates.
If you are a company planning to sell reputation management or social media and online brand management, there is a much better way to do it — one that doesn’t involve buying fake reviews or dealing with shady overseas marketers. Sign up for a demo and you’ll know exactly what I mean.