Online Astroturfing: Deceitful Competition for Consumers’ Attention

By Darren Sharp, Senior Consultant, Resonate Solutions

Online astroturfing is the practice of creating fake reviews of products and services for the purpose of building seemingly “grassroots” support for a brand. Competition for consumers’ attention across the wide spectrum of media channels has led some marketers to employ deceitful conduct to give their clients products a positive spin in review sites, Twitter, blogs and other forms of social media.

Word-of-mouth marketing has become such a powerful force that some marketers are willing to go to any means necessary to get an edge over the competition. Yet astroturfing and similar practices are dishonest, unethical and can expose companies to significant consumer backlash, reputational damage and even litigation.

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