Microsoft Kills Stealth Xbox Marketing Campaign: Was The FTC On Its Tail?

Only hours after Microsoft defended a stealth marketing campaign in which it secretly paid for Xbox endorsements on YouTube, the company killed the operation. Did Microsoft do it of its own volition, or was the Federal Trade Commission on its tail?

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No, they killed it because it became to public.

NewMonday1700d ago

we don't know how many other deals MS have set up, this was the only one exposed.

CYCLEGAMER1700d ago (Edited 1700d ago )

@newmonday You are correct, but the same thing can be said for Sony, Samsung, Apple, or any other electronic company. This practice is not anything new in the marketing world.

NewMonday1700d ago

except Sony don't have the cash to buy fake hype, the whole MS business model is based on buying popularity.

CYCLEGAMER1700d ago (Edited 1700d ago )

EXACTLY Sony doesn't have the cash to run this type of promotion. However you best believe if they did, they would be doing the same thing like the rest of these companies.

Sony is in a far worse situation than the other big companies in the industry. I mean Nintendo which is strictly a gaming company is worth more than the ENTIRE COMPANY OF SONY (not just the gaming division).

Who is to say that the "hype" is fake though? If I were to say "dead rising is a pretty cool game, the amount of zombies on screen is amazing, its an xbox one exclusive, and I am enjoying the game so far". Is that being a liar or being fake??? That is how I really feel about the game.

NewMonday1700d ago

yes, how can I tell if I don't know you?

one way is to be more articulate in describing the experience, why is something "AWESOME", then I will see if I can relate to that or not.


You won't be able to tell either way if you don't personally know me. There are people out there who have agendas (negative or positive) out there right now, who are not being paid.

Based off of your comment history, I could just assume that you are being paid by Sony to prevent people from purchasing any MS product. That doesn't mean that you are.

Honestly people need to to just judge for themselves, and not depend on Joe Shmoe to help make decisions for them. That's what I do.

However if you are having a good experience with a product that YOU BOUGHT I see no shame in sharing that experience with the world, paid or unpaid.

NewMonday1700d ago

From my history you can also see me criticise KZ:SF and GOW:A, and wrote a blog critical of Sony.

What I look for in a review is information not opinion, if someone can explain the experience or demonstrate it in good way that should do.

A big reason I'm skeptical of the recent Titanfall hype campaign is the lack of real information about a game only weeks away, dose anyone know what the plot is about? How does the campaign work out in a MP only game? What are the MP modes?

Fishy Fingers1700d ago (Edited 1700d ago )

Thank god for NewMonday to run to Sonys defence in this MS centric article.

All major companies/conglomerates use "underhand" marketing or promotional methods. If it's legal, shows some success, they'll try it.

ZombieTech1700d ago

@MELMAN26 - "I mean Nintendo which is strictly a gaming company"... think it's safe to say that Nintendo has never been just strictly a gaming company. You do realize Nintendo was originally founded Sep. 23, 1889 (not a typo either) correct? They've also dabbled in just about most any business venture to come along, and I'm pretty sure still do.

Dehnus1700d ago

Odd, so you're saying Maria does this all for free? Wow... Mister Hirai doesn't even have to pay his employees anymore, I'm sure Samsung and Foxcon would like a word with him on how to do this and save even more! :)

starchild1700d ago

I don't really like this kind of marketing, but it's not very high on my list of concerns.

When videogaming is as filled with fanboyism as it is, you should never trust anything you read or watch at face value.

Does it really matter to me whether somebody is saying something positive about a particular product because they were encouraged to through monetary compensation or simply due to mindless fanboyism and loyalty to a company or product? No, it really doesn't. In either case people may be misled.

And there are millions of fanboys spewing propaganda for free. I think of youtube users like RajmanGaming that produce thousands of videos and have fairly large followings, yet are some of the most biased and radical fanboys that you will find, and I simply can't muster much outrage or concern about companies paying users when they make positive comments about their product and not paying them when they don't.

Freedomland1700d ago


Buying positive reviews is cheating and immoral.
It's criminal to bribe people to tell a lie, these are not ads where Tom cruise comes and tells you to use certain product because in these ads we know these people are being paid but here bribing people to lie as a fact, is criminal, giving bogus information or advice or to deceive you to buy something that maybe if you know the reality, you will not buy.

jebabcock1699d ago

When everyone tries to justify a bad action by saying everyone else does it they are essentially condoning it. I see alot of people condoning what MS did... To me anyone caught doing this should be spoken out against. Why anyone would attempt to justify such a practice undermines everyone's ability to receive credible information on gaming products. Such deeds should be shunned regardless of who is doing it... let's take the fanboy goggles off for a moment and and act a little more like the supposed community where we want what is best for all gamers. Encouraging ms's actions isn't doing that.
If you want to bust other companies regarding their poor practices, find the proof and expose them in another article. This only stops if a strong enough message is sent making it no longer worth the risk.

If Sony or nintendo or Activision or other companies are doing this then finding the proof should take about as much effort as some of the lame excuses I'm reading in these comments...

Anyone who is a true gamer should be upset by this regardless of what company. It is a complete disrespect to all gamers and implies that the way to succeed is in treating people like sheep..

creeping judas1699d ago

So Sony doesn't have what $10K for a viral campaign like this? What?????????

mewhy321699d ago

yeah. They stopped because the got caught lol. otherwise they'd be continuing.

MysticStrummer1699d ago

"Sony doesn't have the cash to run this type of promotion."

Of course they do. It's actually a very cheap method of promotion for MS.

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Ittoryu1700d ago

In general everyone knows this goes on, it's not really the market buy that people were upset about it was the terms of the NDA but everyone seems to want to focus on what isn't important about the story, "this kind of campaign happens all the time" that isn't what is important it's the fact the NDA appeared to make a requirement to break the law by not telling people the participants were paid spokensmen.

OrangePowerz1700d ago (Edited 1700d ago )

@ Peope saying Sony wouldn't have the cash. How much do you guys think that costs? It doesn't cost a fortune.

On topic, it fits MS to do that, they needed to have MS employees at the reveal to cheer and clap to make it look like people are excited about changing the chanell via voice commands.

liquidhalos1699d ago

I thought it ended because they reached their target numbers?

Death1699d ago

Yeah, it reached it's $3750 limit a day or so ago.

Here's the actual email.

Nothing in the instructions says to review anything. It says it's to bring awareness to the Xbox One.

n4rc1699d ago


When guys are making a game video.. Having them mention which platform they are using is not the same as a paid endorsement..

They weren't required to say anything positive.. Just mention its running on Xbox, which would be a fact..

Unbunch your panties.. Lol

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1699d ago
1700d ago
MRMagoo1231700d ago (Edited 1700d ago )

tru dat or if you prefer i think this fellow just stated a truthfact dear chums

DigitalRaptor1699d ago

Their standards are pathetic. Their actions are what I would describe as "slimy".

Head down, tail between your legs, Microsoft.

Agent_hitman1700d ago

Good thing MS still have shame left...

MightyNoX1700d ago

You never know~ they may not be retreating but reloading.

As Jim Sterling said, "Be jubilant but stay vigilant."

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