Archives: November 2018

New York AG Gives No Stars To Fake Online Reviews

On November 2, 2018, the New York Attorney General came crashing down on a number of moving services that paid for at least 60 fake positive online reviews posted under the heading “CHECK OUT OUR REVIEWS POSTED BY CUSTOMERS JUST LIKE YOU.”  As a result, the only checking being done will be from the businesses’ bank account when they shell out over $65,000 in penalties and costs.

Fake online reviews have always been the bane of legitimate shoppers.  What’s the first thing you do when you find a snow blower online?  You read the reviews.  How’s about a restaurant?  You read the reviews.  In fact, statistics show that a whopping 88% of shoppers incorporate online reviews into their purchase decisions, and being the lazy consumers that we are, the number one factor is the star rating.  While we think we can weed through the fake and the for real, the bottom line is who the heck knows if Caroline L. from New York, NY really liked her bicycle?  We don’t.  A Harvard Business School/BU report from a few years back states that 20% of all online reviews on Yelp! were fake.  Yikes! (more…)

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What’s the Straight Dope on Marijuana Promotions?

Prop 215 was enacted in California twenty-two years today on November 5, 1996.  This law was the first of its kind in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana use.  Since then 30 states have approved medical marijuana use and 9 have legalized recreational marijuana.  Maybe a long timing coming (for those who like to toke) given that Herodotus first recorded the Scythians inhaling the smoke from smoldering cannabis seeds and flowers to get high in the Fourth Century B.C.E.

We now have over half the country dishing out dope and creating a gigantic ganga industry.  Legal marijuana sales in North America were almost $10 billion (with a B) in 2017 and are expected to grow to almost $25 billion (still with a B) by 2021.  But we still don’t have a real clear landscape on advertising and in particular sweepstakes and contests in the marijuana industry. (more…)

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