Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Travel "shills" back in the news

I'm quoted in a lengthy story in the Guardian [U.K.] newspaper yesterday about the accuracy of hotel reviews: "Why TripAdvisor is getting a bad review". The focus of the story is on some U.K. hoteliers' threats to sue Tripadvisor.com for libel, but it mentions that:

Not only is there a slew of information, it's not clear how much of it is reliable. Travel writer Edward Hasbrouck reported that at a marketing conference in 2006 a top advertising agency publicly declared it had a division "devoted to seeding online forums and bulletin boards with targeted content".

My original report got little notice at the time, but this is a story that won't go away -- and each time it come back in the spotlight, I get more questions like these from the BBC in 2009. And the problem isn't limited to hotel reviews: there have been questions raised about cruise reviews as well.

Look for more news on this issue shortly.

[Update: Here's another report on paid third-party hotel shills, from a recent European travel marketing conference.]

Link | Posted by Edward on Wednesday, 26 January 2011, 16:41 ( 4:41 PM) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Thanks for the info ! I enjoyed your post !

Posted by: Mike, 3 February 2011, 09:58 ( 9:58 AM)
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