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Old 07-11-2016, 02:43 PM   #1
Emabulator
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Shadow of Mordor Comes Under Deceptive Marketing Scrutiny by US Government [Updated]


GameSpot has the story.

Quote:
The United States government today announced that it has proposed a settlement with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment over a deceptive marketing campaign for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The Federal Trade Commission said in a news release that Warner Bros. failed to "adequately disclose" that it paid "influencers" such as PewDiePie and others to promote the game on YouTube and social media.

The campaign in question ran in late 2014, before the game's release. According to the FTC, the videos in which sponsorship was not adequately disclosed were viewed more than 5.5 million times. Warner Bros., through its advertising agency, Plaid Social Labs, paid the online hosts "thousands of dollars" for the coverage, according to the complaint.

PewDiePie's video alone--which appears to have been since removed from his YouTube channel--reportedly racked up 3.7 million views.

Paying for positive coverage is not new or anything necessarily bad. But the FTC goes after companies for failing to disclose this. An Xbox One marketing campaign ran by Machinima also came under FTC scrutiny.
Update: After seeing PewDiePie's response to the allegations that he failed to "adequately disclose" being paid by Warner Bros. for positive coverage of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor in the Warner Bros. FTC settlement, I took a closer look at this article. I was able to find PewDiePie's Shadow of Mordor video on YouTube with this search. The video does not show up in the orignal search by GameSpot (quoted above). GameSpot's search came up with videos by "PewDlePie," instead of "PewDiePie." GameSpot has since updated the article.

In his response video PewDiePie points out that he included the line "This video was sponsored by Warner Brother" in the video's description on YouTube. According to The Verge "the FTC does not consider disclosures in YouTube descriptions adequate, since they do not appear alongside videos in embeds or on other platforms."
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:48 PM   #2
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Edit: The person that did the article for GameSpot is Eddie Makuch. He does a good job with the news at GameSpot. I'm thinking the search was nothing more than a typo.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:57 PM   #3
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Isn't this what Sony is doing with the reviews for Ghostbusters?
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Old 07-11-2016, 03:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ashikenshin View Post
Isn't this what Sony is doing with the reviews for Ghostbusters?
Probably. IGN posted their Ghostbusters review and it had a 5.1 score and now it is a 6.9. And there were rumors going around Twitter that Sony had 'words' with some of the major publications.
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Old 07-11-2016, 04:24 PM   #5
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https://www.youtube.com/user/PewDiePie/videos
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:01 PM   #6
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6.9? They giving blow jobs?
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:53 PM   #7
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Too bad, as Shadow or Mordor was actually a kick-ass game on its own merits.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:05 PM   #8
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It really was a fun game. I had quite a blast playing it.
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:11 AM   #9
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Under a proposed FTC order announced today, Warner Bros. is barred from failing to make such disclosures in the future and cannot misrepresent that sponsored content, including gameplay videos, are the objective, independent opinions of video game enthusiasts or influencers.
There is no financial penalty. If they are convinced this was illegal, there should be a financial penalty in hand with these requirements. Weak sauce.
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:45 PM   #10
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Article updated.
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