Disney Used Anonymous Online Quotes In Ads

from the as-good-as-made-up dept

You've all seen movie advertisements that include snippets of glowing quotes from critics. "Marvelous!" "Best Movie of the Year!" etc. There's been some controversy about these quotes in the past. There was an investigation into studios taking movie critic quotes completely out of context, and even a lawsuit against Sony Pictures for making up a critic and his quotes for movie ads. It appears that Disney has now been caught trying out a new tactic: using quotes from anonymous internet commenters on IMDB. These "commenters" could be, for example, Disney employees, but go under usernames like "Theedge-4" and "Mjavfc1." Apparently, that's good enough for Disney to quote them in their ads. While there's something to be said for tapping into a wider group of folks than just the big name "professional" movie critics and reviewers, this one seems pretty questionable and open to abuse -- especially given the industry's documented history of made up reviews.

Filed Under: ads, critics, online reviews, quotes, reviewers
Companies: disney


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  1. identicon
    Hulser, 7 Oct 2008 @ 9:11am

    Anonymous versus no attribution

    I think there's something misleading, or at least very ambiguous about the headline of the original article...

    "Disney attacked for promoting The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas with blog quotes
    Disney has come under attack for promoting a film using favourable reviews from online bloggers instead of recognised film critics."

    Were the glowing quotes attributed to "Theedge-4" and "Mjavfc1" who were clearly identified as users on IMDB? If so, then not only don't I see a problem with this, but the headline is accurate (albeit wrongheaded). We may not know the legal name of "Theedge-4", however, that person does have an identity in the context of the IMDB community.

    But if by "anonymous" they really mean that the quotes appeared without any kind of attribution, then the headline is misleading. There's a big difference between using quotes from bloggers and commentors (as log as they're clearly identified as such) and using a quote without any indication of who the author is. Just because professional movie reviewers feel threatened by blogs and commenters, doesn't mean that this "threat" is wrong or worthy of attack.

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