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Submitted by MariaHelFutura 254d ago | news

Microsoft Xbox One Prompts Outrage After YouTube Stealth-Marketing Stunt

Games video creators on YouTube have reacted angrily to a stealth marketing campaign for Microsoft's Xbox One which paid bloggers for posting favourable videos. (Industry, Xbox One, YouTube)

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XiSasukeUchiha  +   254d ago | Well said
Yep MS you got learn how to do marketing legally!
NewMonday  +   254d ago
the story is getting picked up by mainstream media now.
curtis92  +   254d ago
Link?
xHeavYx   254d ago | Trolling | show
mewhy32  +   254d ago | Funny
Wow. this isn't surprising coming from ms. Before you know it they'll hire Don Mattrick back.
truefan1  +   254d ago
Well if you buy games or a console without doing your own research you are an idiot anyway.
BALLBAGS  +   254d ago
@Curtis

the guardian is as mainstream media as you can get

now they have picked up on it it will reach the news on tv
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Charybdis  +   254d ago
Even if it is “so commonplace” that it is “happening every day on YouTube”. It shouldn't happen.
Glad it was temporarily otherwise a whole lot more people would be trying to cash in on this deal.
#1.1.6 (Edited 254d ago ) | Agree(19) | Disagree(1) | Report
MightyNoX  +   254d ago | Helpful
@Curtis

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/...

Metro: http://metro.co.uk/2014/01/...

Yahoo: http://games.yahoo.com/news...

Also, the Community Director for Machinima has deleted his account: https://twitter.com/ClickIn...
dedicatedtogamers  +   254d ago | Well said
Microsoft can't just catch a break. You know why?

Pssst, I'll tell you:

[because this is business as usual for them. They've been this way since the '80s.]

People can go ahead and stick their head in the sand. That's fine. Watch our beloved hobby crumble as companies like Microsoft moneyhat everything instead of being passionate about the industry.

Inb4 "Sony Too™"
Baka-akaB  +   254d ago | Well said
And people alway watch bemused , ever since the xbox , when you tell them you dont like Microsoft .

I dont even need one specific reason , they've provided several since the 80s , and only added some shenanigans in the console world , to their varied portfolio of crap .

"but other corporation are bad too" . Yup definitively , but not many have evangelists defending them whatever happens with so few benefits

"But others care about money foremost too" . Yeah but you dont need to appear that blunty cynical and obvious to your customers . You could *gasp* get moneyfrom satisfying your customers
#1.1.9 (Edited 254d ago ) | Agree(40) | Disagree(0) | Report
DragonKnight  +   253d ago | Well said
Did you know that MS had a similar campaign back in November that wasn't discovered until this one was? So how many positive Xbox One stories were bought and paid for I wonder?
GameNameFame   253d ago | Trolling | show
slapedurmomsace  +   253d ago
Honestly this deserves a small shake of the head and an amused smirk on the face. This isn't earth shattering by any stretch. Most company's do this. I honestly find this entertaining becomes it just had to be MS that gets outted so quickly. This company just can't seem to catch a break. I think thats probably why the medias picking up on it. They're restructuring, going through a CEO transition, They posted a loss recently (though i believe that was because of write off) Windows Phones growth has been incredibly slow, windows 8 was flop, windows rt was a disaster, the xbox one reveal was embarrassing at best, what sony did to them at e3 was a disaster,but yet maybe the best thing that happened for console gaming in a long time as it forced MS to change the xbox into an actually appeally console. Good news however is the xbox one went on to have a darn fine launch. Regardless of how or where they sold them, 3 plus million in less than 2 months launch is very impressive.
kickerz   253d ago | Not a reply | show
fanboybeatdown  +   253d ago
Not sure if the haters are serious or....?

IF you all believe that MS is the only one that does this and Sony does not do this, then... wow... i just don't know what to say.

Some of the people on here are so deluded.
Sony has done a masterful job of pulling the wool over your eyes.

Wake up, fanboys.
miyamoto  +   253d ago
I hope people wake up sooner, open their eyes and see why M$ has done more evil than good to the home console video game industry Nintendo, Sega, Sony, SNK, Hudson, and tons of Japanese and Western developers etc. has built through the years.

M$ employees always thinks with their pockets not their brains.
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ZodTheRipper  +   253d ago
^The only thing M$ brought to our industry is timed exclusive deals. With money that could be spend on game development. This company is cancer to creativity in every way and I hope their execs choke on the money from their Forza microtransactions.
Deeke  +   253d ago
Yeah when I saw it on Reddit I thought it was unfair, but when I dug a bit deeper I saw that it's quite appalling.

M$ needs to quit spending so much time in trying to get GOOD reviews and spend that time making a good product--then it'll speak for itself.
Lord Maim  +   253d ago
@fanboybeatdown: If that were the case, don't you think that Knack would have been rated higher? Sony doesn't buy ratings. They don't have to.
GrizzliS1987  +   253d ago
ladies and gentleman, this is surely indirect proof for every time you wondered why a garbage game can get such a high review score...especially when you know for a fact the game is garbage and the competition is better, yet has lower score..

paid off reviewers left and right :/
Evilsnuggle   254d ago | Trolling | show | Replies(3)
mrpsychoticstalker  +   254d ago
There's nothing illegal about this practice.

http://www.marketingpower.c...

For example in this article: It's all a crafty promotional trick called stealth marketing, an ethically dubious practice that has regained the spotlight with Friday's release of the film "The Joneses."

Hilarious movie

For companies who do it, the risks of stealth marketing outweigh the benefits, says Jonathan Margolis, CEO of the Michael Alan Group and co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Dummies."

"It might work if the product is good enough, but ultimately the consumer is being duped," he says. "It's risky to stage something that people think is a natural occurrence.

"There is a potential for backlash. Consumers don't like being deceived, and brands don't want to look bad."

http://m.nydailynews.com/1....
There's nothing illegal about it, more and more companies are doing it without us the consumers knowing it.
H0RSE  +   254d ago
It doesn't have to be illegal, just shady enough to make MS look bad, so they can point the finger and fuel their "typical MS" rhetoric... funny how so many gamers are so ethical these days, many of which are probably the same gamers that teabag players in MP matches, and talk s*** with the defense of, "it's all in good fun."

The kicker is, much of this "outrage" is taking place simply because it is MS. The company is in a rough situation right now, with many people still mad as hell over the DRM fiasco. If Sony did this exact thing, many may still be mad, but not nearly as much. For many, it would just result in a slap on the wrist for the company, or perhaps even a pass. In some cases, it's almost like people feel obligated to get extra pissed off at MS, even if they actually aren't that upset.
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isa_scout  +   253d ago
If it is true then it could violate the FTCs rules and regulations...So yeah, there's always that.
DragonKnight  +   253d ago
Actually this is illegal.

http://www.broadcastlawblog...
ShinMaster  +   253d ago
""You may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One or any of its Games in your Campaign Video.""
http://pastebin.com/vec6vjv...

They're paying people to positively promote the Xbox One in a dishonest way.
Tctczach  +   254d ago
It's not illegal. And if you think it is you need to take a marketing class. If you don't think any other major corporations do this then you are so blind.
DragonKnight  +   253d ago
It is illegal, read the link I just posted above.
eferreira  +   253d ago
it is illegal if they cant say they're being paid about it.
HammadTheBeast  +   253d ago
http://www.broadcastlawblog...

It's illegal if they get caught and wrecked on media. I don't care about corporations, just calling others blind won't do much when there's one right here.
Tctczach  +   253d ago
Look more news keeps leaking out on this story and while it may be Microsoft's money, Machinima handled the NDAs and the promotion. So why isn't there an uproar on them? I know Microsoft is probably paying them to take the blame. But can we prove it? Probably not. So spread the hate. I know Microsoft is shady but just saying that proves doesn't prove anything. http://mobile.theverge.com/...
Cueil  +   253d ago
the only thing illegal would be if the youtubers didn't state it as a promotional piece... that is all
PSjesus  +   254d ago
That's why i respect Japanese companies they had the term (Honor)...that's why SEGA or Nintendo never tried this kind of shaddy and questionable methods even in their hardest times in the industry in fact Nintendo don't want their IPs represent unprofessionally by Yotubers scums,that's why they flagged many videos
Dehnus  +   253d ago
You know SEGA has been started by an American right? And even to help American Troops entertain themselves away from home?

Oh and SONY tried to install Trojans on my computer for wanting to listen to a CD, they even tried to get rid of the CD standard because they wanted their new DRM TROJAN software to be the new standard. THis might be quite a few years ago, but Sony can be just as bad in these kind of activities as any western company.

Nintendo, much as I love them, where also known to have an iron grip on third party developers and where successfully challenged in court for their monopoly practises. Nintendo in the 80's and early 90's was not a nice company to face in a legal battle if you where a game developer.

So please.... MS does shit, but it's really nothing new. Let's not even begin about IBM and how they automated the Holocaust to utmost efficiency... and the less said about Henry Ford's NAZI years the better.
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BallsEye   254d ago | Off topic | show | Replies(5)
dale_denton  +   254d ago
desperate times over there eh M$?
givemeshelter  +   253d ago
You do realize that many companies practice his type of marketing also... Even Sony...

Sony Ericsson holds the distinction of having launched the most notorious stealth marketing campaign. When the company first came out with a camera phone in 2002, it hired actors in 10 cities to pretend to be tourists who would stop passersby and ask to have their photos taken.

Dee Dutta, Sony Ericsson's corporate vice president of global marketing, considered the fake tourist campaign a success due mostly to the media attention the stunt garnered from the likes of "60 Minutes" and "ABC News."

"For the kind of money we spend, these campaigns are very effective," he told CMO Magazine.
its_JEFF  +   253d ago
uhh... I think what you described sounds is an ad campaign. Were they famous actors? Or were they just actors? What you described is whats usually called "gorilla marketing"

What would be valid is if: Those actors were very famous, like say Brad Pitt (IDK why I chose him) and he went around taking posting pics on Instagram and FaceBook and championing the new Sony phone while he was getting paid for it, but at the same time he or Sony never told anybody that he was their new spokesmen.

It's that deception that: he only likes the Sony phone because he's getting paid to say that he likes it.
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Elit3Nick   253d ago | Off topic | show
HardcoreGamer  +   253d ago
man they even gave away tons of xbox ones every 2 minute with promotions and stuff, are these sales units?

the lies go on soo long, like pnnochios nose
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reddx11  +   253d ago
your every xboxone news ps4fan wtf do youeven have the ps4im starting to think you don't
Joey_Leone  +   253d ago
Kinda sad if you think about it.
Clunkyd  +   253d ago
This is called Blackhat Marketing. It's legal in most cases, but don't follow how marketing should be done and instead take shortcuts.
ITPython  +   253d ago
I wonder when it going to come out that MS paid a ton of people to get verified purchases on Amazon just to leave week one 1-star reviews for the PS4? (and also paid people to get verified purchases of the XB1 to leave 5 star reviews). Anybody who knows Amazon knows that you don't actually have to spend any money to get a verified purchase, and MS took full advantage.

I mean it was a pretty serious deal that got the attention of nearly every mainstream gaming news, and non-gaming news, to report on the so called high PS4 failure rate, which was actually fabricated. MS knew that Amazon likely got the biggest chunk of PS4's out of any company, so they knew it would be in the spotlight.

I bet Amazon wouldn't take so kindly to MS abusing it's review system, and I hope this scandal comes to surface soon. Bribing people on youtube to lie and say their product is awesome is one thing, but what MS did with amazon is a bit more serious as they were paying to sabotage the PS4 sales.
ambientFLIER  +   253d ago
bla bla bla
assdan  +   253d ago
It's not really illegal. It just makes them look pathetic and desperate.
showtimefolks  +   253d ago
MS why am i not surprised. Instead of paying for positive feedback how about look and paying attention to what gaming community wants and trying to achieve that

MS will stop supporting xbox one in few years just like they did with xbox360 to chase the casual crowd. Whole sony is laser focused on delivering the absolute best with ps4

also to all those that said sites are run by ps4 fanboys how is this slap on your face.
ITPython  +   253d ago
Exactly, MS is simply trying to compensate for their shortcomings in regards to a product that doesn't quite meet the gaming markets demands. Which is why it is advertised to infinity and beyond, and also why they were doing so many XB1 giveaways.

They know people don't want the console, but as you mentioned, rather than actually making a good product that people would desire, MS is trying to artificially create demand for the console. Essentially tricking people into wanting it using sleazy marketing tactics and bribes to get their way.

Kinect voice commands is also an excuse for a terrible UI, and likely why they are making it mandatory for every XB1 sale. So instead of making a good intuitive and easy to navigate UI, they just opted to make people use Kinect to navigate around because they were too lazy, or just didn't have it in them to make something decent out of Windows 8 type OS.

It's just amazing how badly MS failed this gen.
DeathOfTheFanBoy   253d ago | Off topic | show
Edsword  +   253d ago
Once again MS endears itself to gamers.
Bobby Kotex  +   253d ago
The douchebaggery aside, I can't believe Microsoft is stupid enough to do this and think it wouldn't get out.
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malokevi  +   253d ago
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!

coughnobodyacuallycarscough
BelkingOfSony  +   254d ago
Microsoft loves to flash the cash.

Microsoft to game journos and bloggers - "i want you to advertise the xbox one as good and having no DRM"
Journos and bloggers - "no way, i'm not going to lie to millions of gamers who go to me first for my trusted unbiased reviews about your console, its not my fault you decided to go the entertainment route instead of catering for the gamer. however, if you show me a load of the green stuff, if ya know what i mean hehe..."
#2 (Edited 254d ago ) | Agree(35) | Disagree(11) | Report | Reply
Charybdis  +   254d ago
With only $3,750 spend by Microsoft one has to wonder if they have other deals, it could be much bigger. $3,750 is not even a drop in the bucket for a Microsoft marketing budget.
pyramidshead  +   254d ago | Funny
It's all fake, they're doing nothing wrong. XB1 is a great system with great launch games. A nice all in one entertainment system with a fantastic Kinect sensor.

#XB1M13

*lol I guess these joke posts may be harmful to my bubble count*
#3 (Edited 254d ago ) | Agree(54) | Disagree(41) | Report | Reply
Hicken  +   254d ago
Helps if you let people know it's sarcasm or something. After all, there are individuals in here that would say something like what you've written, and it WOULDN'T be a joke; they'd be dead-ass serious.

Who cares whether it's illegal or immoral or whatever? The company they like is doing it, so it's okay. Oh, and to try and make it not look quite so bad, here's another company doing something that's vaguely questionable, but isn't remotely the same.

That's what's happening right now. With this, and virtually every other misstep Microsoft or their studios make.
ThePope  +   253d ago
Yeah because companies only do things that are similar, never the same as big bad mean Microsoft. Sony would never be such a big dummy head.

Grow up. All companies do this type of sh**. It only works on the morons of the world so who cares.

On top of that, the One is great. Its not like they were asking them to say its one thing when its not.
LeCreuset  +   253d ago
Hey, Hicken. ThePope wants you to know all companies do this type of stuff, but only MS keeps getting nailed doing it.
ThePope  +   253d ago
"but only MS keeps getting nailed doing it"

Name some of the other times please. I love how the fan boys on this site think Sony only does what in the best interest of the consumer.

They do what's in the best interest of their pocket book.
MightyNoX  +   254d ago
Not to worry, PH. I've known your posts long enough to know you were joking even without the #XB1 tag
5eriously  +   254d ago
Bubble up for funny to compensate! (wink)
StifflerK  +   254d ago
Unfortunately 'Astro Turfing' is commonplace nowadays - most big companies do it.
thecowsaysmoo  +   254d ago
I like the xbox one, but it is kind of wrong to essentially pay for reviews like this. Makes you wonder if they did this for xbox games.
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nosferatuzodd  +   253d ago
What do u think cough cough polygon cough
Microshaft is the dirtiest company I've known 100 million for the Scroogle add they've bin doing this since the80s ppl don't know it's not good microshaft is good at business why they have so much money is by lying cheating bullying and stealing ideas from smaller company's they were doing it for years to apple until apple out grew them
Microshaft is a plague in the gaming industry don't care who disagree with me I'm on a one man war with them since they ban me from live without no good reason I won't stop swinging lightning swords at them
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ThePope  +   253d ago
Well written. I see the New Yorker in your future!
Belking   254d ago | Off topic | show | Replies(9)
Ripsta7th  +   254d ago
I knew some people just wouldnt sell out that quick and sooner or later someone would talk about it publicly, once the story spreads MS will have to find a way to fix this and it will be too late
MysticStrummer  +   254d ago
Funny, because I was watching a BF4 stream and the comments in the text window had of lot of "F*** XB1" in them. Others were asking the streamer which console he preferred (he streams on both) but he never answered as far as I heard.
Ripsta7th  +   254d ago
You can try to fool casuals, but you cant fool gamers.
fonger08  +   254d ago
oh come on man, every company does this promote their products. It wasn't all that long ago that Sony paid "journalist" and I use that term loosely, to say good things about their movie releases. Some companies make it very apparent others try and to be slick about it and MS just got caught.
T2  +   253d ago
Sony has also received a fine for this a time ago, so yes it is wrong and they learned their lesson. MS never learns
fonger08  +   253d ago
I'm not saying it's not wrong and MS shouldn't be scourned for this, it's just that practically every company has done it at one point or another.
Prime157  +   253d ago
Ms has been doing it since the 80s and getting away with it, even if they get fined, they don't care and keep doing it.

It's like the xbone drm stuff, Microsoft has been doing that since day one. Many x-fanboys think they won't ever try to control the consumer again, which is the worst part.
KillrateOmega  +   254d ago
Well...
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urwifeminder  +   254d ago
Clever stuff see nothing wrong with this a lot of companies will have new ways to market when they get a handle on this interwebs thing.
LostDjinn  +   254d ago
WTF? This is completely illegal and you're fine with that? Let me guess, this is just haters hating right? OMG *smfh*

Edit: @below BS. You claim to be an older gamer yet don't understand basic ethics? Wow. You sound awesome.
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urwifeminder  +   254d ago
Yeah I am completely fine with that not sure what haters have to do with it I am an older gamer and am not hip with this abbreviated lingo.
G20WLY  +   253d ago
Claims to be "an older gamer and not hip with abbreviated lingo"

Calls himself "urwifeminder". Reeks of immaturity and contains hip abbreviated lingo.

Fails.
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christocolus  +   253d ago
I couldnt care less about this issue. I have an xbox one and im happy with my purchase. I think the anti xbox media are blowing this out of proportion though,i know ms isnt the only company who has done this, but trust media outlets to grow the flames and keep them burning bigger and brighter.
ShwankyShpanky  +   253d ago
You forgot your "XB1M13" tag.
Prime157  +   253d ago
The fact is that you couldn't care less until they reinstate the e3 drm stupid again and you slowly lose your right to trade or give a game to your friend without ms profiting on it.

Seems like a good reason not to care about this in a company that has been known to do this for years, right?
LeCreuset  +   253d ago
Pay no attention to the subject of the article: MS paying corrupt media to stealth advertise the Xbox. It's the REST of the media that's corrupt, according to christocolus.
MadMen  +   254d ago
LOL no different than mods on a forum, cash is just a medium, its done with and without it.

Get over it.
1lawrence  +   254d ago
Yea microsoft should leave industry
Dlacy13g  +   254d ago
Were you saying that back when Sony was running fake PS Vita fan blogs?

Look, I hate this kind of marketing as it is becoming more an more common. I mostly hate it because the end result for us gamers is a sense of distrust in our own communities.

I don't want any company leaving the gaming space, I just want to see these kinds of marketing practices cleaned up on all fronts.

These companies hire on agencies to market their products and put a ton of pressure on them to deliver ROI and Metrics of call to action from ad campaigns that stems far beyond just branding of the company. On top of that, we are seeing a crazy up-tick of using "social media" as it has taken over as a primary information driver. So these agencies are continuously trying to be creative and find the next best way to reach the consumer.

That said, companies like Microsoft have to do a much better job of holding these agencies accountable and not allowing them to dive into this kind of nefarious activity. Shame on Microsoft for allowing this to be green lit and any other gaming company that is allowing this kind of under the table advertising as no doubt there are many others doing the same given these ideas are being born out of the advertising agencies that represent them all.
TheTwelve  +   254d ago
It was fake PSP fan blogs, not Vita, which Sony admitted to and apologized for.

Let's see if Microsoft has the same couth.

(Plus, running fake blogs isn't illegal since it's totally fake. Slimy and bush league, but not illegal as far as I know.

But paying REAL people to pretty much lie about your product...this is a different level.)
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Dlacy13g  +   254d ago
@TheTwelve ... I am 100% positive there is no request to lie about the product in the deal. Its slimy for sure but lets be honest here, they are not trying to get people to lie, just put up positive video. Contrary to N4G popular belief not everyone has negative things to say about the Xbox One.

edit: and yes you are correct it was PSP not Vita.
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Prime157  +   253d ago
" I am 100% positive there is no request to lie about the product in the deal."

http://pastebin.com/vec6vjv... <--the agreement.

Section II) b-2 says, "You may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One or any of its Games in your Campaign Video;"

So, if that person encountered something they didn't like, it can't be mentioned. Or, in regards to 720p ghosts, even knowing that the competitor's is 1080p, that person would have to spin the inferior version as looking "it's best."

Not asking them to lie, but telling them to not say the truth.

Also, it had a compounding effect of random non-affiliates thinking they could make $3k by doing it, mainly because they were tools.
kewlkat007  +   253d ago
Didn't Sony also pay for favorable movie reviews...

This is nothing new..the age of the internet.

Real fans of any such product will voice their displeasure, if there is about any product.
mydyingparadiselost  +   254d ago
This whole debacle is just low, sleazy and insulting to anyone with a brain or an XOne console. I hope MS gets fined and these youtubers who took the money fall into obscurity.Or a hole.... with spikes in it....
4logpc  +   254d ago
Not illegal.
LostDjinn  +   254d ago
"Not illegal" Lol what?! In 2009 the FTC introduced laws stating that any reviewer/blogger that received payment (be it goods, services or cash payments) must disclose it. Disclose to the public that it is.

You know you can use the interwebz for more than just arguing and BSing right?
Dlacy13g  +   254d ago
Hard to say if its illegal in that the wording of the agreement was you are getting paid a CPM rate for views on videos that are mentioning or showing Xbox games / system and can't have bad remarks on the product but not requiring good remarks. The key being its not asking you to do any kind of endorsement of the product just stating you can't say bad things about it.

Its a loop hole for sure, but I am guessing that is how they are interpreting that. The FTC may very well get involved and clarify things further to close that loop hole...or they could just leave as is. I am guessing we see the FTC firm up the language more.

those wanting see more info on the FTC guidlines: http://www.ftc.gov/news-eve...
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Gunstar75  +   254d ago
Eeeeeeeek....call the police!!!
4logpc  +   254d ago
You can throw whatever you want up from google. Read the wording. It is not in any way illegal.
LostDjinn  +   254d ago
@ Dlacy13g. *smh* did you actually read the link you gave?

"The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement."

No where is it written that the review or blog must be positive. I must say though that you're trying really hard to make this seem okay. You're getting err...compensated I hope. ;)

Edit: Hahaha. I love the "It's not" approach you guys are going for. Even your own link counters your argument and you still persist.

Edit 2: Oh I agree that MS will have tried to frame this so the bloggers are held accountable. The thing is that they (MS) are the owners of said product, the ones funding the payments and gain from the process. So err...what? Any investigation is going to show who's paying the bills here.
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Dlacy13g  +   254d ago
@LostDjinn, yes I did. To be frank the weight of this all really falls on the bloggers shoulders and the way the agreement with MS is it keeps MS clear.

As I just posted below:

1)If the blogger just posted up videos of the Xbox One and are not endorsing it or reviewing it, and are also not saying bad things in the video about the Xbox One then the blogger gets paid and quite honestly don't need to publicly say anything about the deal since they were not reviewing or endorsing the product "technically".

2) IF they posted up Xbox One videos and then gave statements of endorsement in their video THEY, the blogger, are legally bound to disclose that they are getting paid money to endorse or review the product...the blogger is the one who has to disclose that not MS.

3)Now the catch-22 for the blogger is if they disclose the deal (under the guidelines of the deal with MS) then they actually wont get paid as they will have violated the terms of the deal with MS. They actually are no longer being paid for the endorsement since MS wont pay if you broke the terms and mentioned that you are getting paid. Thus there is no violation from MS's end and technically the blogger is safe now too.

I am not trying to say I endorse the practice at all, just weighing in on the legal merits aspect.
#15.1.5 (Edited 254d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(14) | Report
MasterCornholio  +   254d ago
Depends on how its done.

"The ASA, which regulates advertising in the UK, says: "Put simply, a blogger who is given money to promote a product or service has to ensure readers are aware they’re being advertised to.""

And the USA has a similar law as well.
Dlacy13g  +   254d ago
The "endorsement" aspect of these videos really is the key to this agreement as I read up more on this.

"bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. "

So really there are two parts to this as I look at it:

1) MS paying people chump change (less than $4k in total) to put up videos showing Xbox with no disparaging remarks and asking those in the agreement not to disclose the deal.

2) Video bloggers who are accepting the deal, but are not only showing the xbox one but then also giving endorsement to the product.

Those two aspects play into how this all works and most likely is legal from Microsofts side of it.

As much as people want to bash MS on this, I think the legal weight of this actually falls on the video bloggers. If they just post up videos of the Xbox One and are not endorsing it then they get paid and quite honestly don't need to publicly say anything about the deal. IF they posted up Xbox One videos and then gave statements of endorsement in their video THEY are legally bound to disclose that...the blogger is the one who has to disclose that not MS. Now the catch-22 for the blogger is if they disclose the deal then they actually wont get paid as they will have violated the terms of the deal with MS and actually are no longer being paid for the endorsement since MS wont pay if you broke the terms thus there is no violation from MS's end and technically the blogger is safe now too.

Crazy ass loop holes... all I gotta say.
Lonnie18  +   254d ago
Underhanded MS campaigns then....sigh
solar  +   254d ago
Yawn.
Gunstar75  +   254d ago
Ooooh, Maria posting a negative xbox article....ironic seeing as he/she must be on Sony's payroll. Nobody normal tries so hard for no reason.

Either way. I don't care what MS do. I'm too busy playing Killer Instinct and being crap at it !!
ZeoN  +   253d ago
Cared enough to comment..
Gunstar75  +   253d ago
How astute of you to notice. I cared enough to point out that this is a non-story...
ZeoN  +   253d ago
Too late cupcake
jackanderson1985  +   254d ago
look everyone saying that MS should be fined or whatever didn't read the contract... not once did MS say they have to praise or endorse buying the x1 in any way... what they said was to mention that they were on the X1 and not to say any scathing remarks for a whole 30 seconds... this statement would have qualified you "hi, i'm playing XXXX on the xbox one, here is 30 seconds worth of gameplay"... if that managed to influence anyone then i've a bucket of air to sell you.

is it sneaky yeah no doubt about it but hell every major corp does it and it's been common place since 95 (see astroturfing)....

odds are those users would have done it anyways seeing as they shelled out 500 $/£(ish)/€ for the console anyways and it's what they do, they do let's play videos

also due to the low nature of the reward (total payout was 3,750) and the fact it was a once off means that it's unlikely MS will face anything from the FTC
#19 (Edited 254d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(15) | Report | Reply
scott182  +   254d ago
People were paid to not have any negative opinions at all basically, only positive or neutral. People use youtube to see average people saying what they really think, not what corporations pay them to say. Microsoft should have disclosed what they were doing, so it would have seemed more honest.
#19.1 (Edited 254d ago ) | Agree(10) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
jgrigs09  +   254d ago
People are probably going to think I'm defending xbox for this. But A lot of companies do the very same thing but not just on YouTube. I'm sure Samsung, HTC, and so on due it. Microsoft just can't hide it like they can. Not saying it's right, I'm just saying people shouldn't just point fingers at MS only.
superbhoy  +   254d ago
most sites are reporting on it but it seems like they dont want MS to get angry at them or something...they keep using words like ''allegedly'' or ''supposedly'' .
sAVAge_bEaST  +   254d ago
Bribing people to promote your product, only makes you look desperate, and un-sure of the product yourselves.... M$,.

This is the difference, when you see an Ad on TV, you can filter it out, you know it's an Ad, when you see people discussing a product it says "payed actors" at the bottom, or a Celeberity promotes, you know they are getting paid,..
This is under handed as hell, because even with Ad-Block on,, Microsoft wants to Pay for an Opinion, with NO DISCLOSURE, so the viewer is un-aware,, that this is a bought and paid for opinion,, $hady as hell, and illegal.(the xb1m13 tag is hidden on the new youtube)

The Youtubers themselves could get fined, $10,000. Complaits have been made to the FTC, for bribery. If any one else wants to file a complaint, here http://www.ftc.gov/faq/cons...
#22 (Edited 254d ago ) | Agree(15) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
ElementX  +   254d ago
I don't see how it's a bribe. If somebody owns the console they'll get a small amount of money to promote it. Is somebody going to run out to buy an Xbox One for just a few dollars? I mean, the Youtubers already own the console, it's not as though MS gave out free Xbox Ones for people to promote.
#22.1 (Edited 254d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(16) | Report | Reply
True_Samurai  +   254d ago
If they pay me a nice amount of money than I'm down for it
#23 (Edited 254d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(8) | Report | Reply
ElementX  +   254d ago
If somebody owns an Xbox One console, this just earns them a few more dollars to show footage.
LeCreuset  +   253d ago
Really? So if someone that owned an Xbox One posted a video talking about its shortcomings, would this deal allow for that?
jegheist2014  +   254d ago
if i did not have to use windows to play pc games id be using mac os x but since most newer releases take 3 months to port over to that im using iwndows not all pc games come to mac os x

so im stuck with windows steam machines r best thing to ever happen they have there own os now i can use linux or mac osx x now in few months ill never usen other micrsoft product asl ong as i live
jackanderson1985  +   254d ago
you realize you can download SteamOS right now yeah and don't require a Steam Machine for it?
bigboss1990  +   254d ago
There pathetic and soooo desperate lol
SpiralTear  +   253d ago
I've been hearing a lot of responses from Youtube content creators on Twitter about this. It's generating quite a lot of opinions.

While I can't confidently say that this is "illegal" (I'm not a lawyer), it's definitely shady and this is clearly going to hurt Microsoft's image in the content creation circuit. Hell, from what I've seen, that image is damaged a ton already. Ironically, much of the Xbox One ridicule has been coming from Machinima's Youtube network.
hazardman  +   253d ago
The funny thing is non of this news is gonna make me put down Xbox One controller and if it was Sony or Nintendo doing it I wouldnt even care. Honestly! I didnt need any stealth marketing to buy my gaming consoles.

MS has been trying to control and monopolize the industry for yrs!! Thats out of my control tho. I just do gaming. Some of ya are so sensitive!
#28 (Edited 253d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(11) | Report | Reply
GreatnessAwaits  +   253d ago
Desperate times call for desperate measures eh ?
givemeshelter  +   253d ago
"Sony Ericsson holds the distinction of having launched the most notorious stealth marketing campaign. When the company first came out with a camera phone in 2002, it hired actors in 10 cities to pretend to be tourists who would stop passersby and ask to have their photos taken."

Of course I will get disagrees up the ying yang stating this LMAO

"Dee Dutta, Sony Ericsson's corporate vice president of global marketing, considered the fake tourist campaign a success due mostly to the media attention the stunt garnered from the likes of "60 Minutes" and "ABC News."

"For the kind of money we spend, these campaigns are very effective," he told CMO Magazine."

Only Microsoft does Stealth Marketing... NEVER SONY...
Only on N4G.COM

News flash people... ALL Corporations have done this and continue to do this. To think only Microsoft does it is completely false. Yes we know... This is N4G.COM and everything Sony does is God like and Saint like and the opposite of everyone else...
Here comes another restriction Ban for me in stating the truth on N4G.COM
Amazing how this is news when companies have been doing this type of deceitful marketing for decades...
#30 (Edited 253d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(16) | Report | Reply
Killzoner99  +   253d ago
That's way different. Sony was advertising. Microsoft is BREAKING THE LAW. They need to GTFO of the industry NOW.
givemeshelter  +   253d ago
You do know this type of shady advertising is not illegal
And what Sony did is the same exact thing in rule...
In the UK and some other countries they outlawed it... In many others they have not.
As a matter of fact what Sony did in 2002 would be against the law in some countries as false advertising just as what MS did now... But not all countries.
My point is Microsoft is not the only company to do this type of STEALTH MARKETING. They all do it... It's not right, however if you think only MS does it and are evil... I have swamp land in Florida for you on the cheap Lol
#30.1.1 (Edited 253d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(12) | Report
R3ddBuddah  +   253d ago
If you don't like this site, you can leave. If so full of Sony lovers and such, there are plenty of other sites for you to go and get all your gaming news. Seriously go right ahead, not a soul will miss nor care you were ever here. Also, i will ride with sony to hell and back, but i know damn well Sony has done some damn shady bizniz. But what MS has done lately, Pft.. I give them credit, Every good captain goes down with its ship.
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