Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"Warner Bros. paid YouTubers for positive reviews"

The FTC’s complaint says that a third-party marketing team hired by Warner Bros. gave the YouTube game reviewers “cash payments often ranging from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars,” as long as the videos they made about Shadow of Mordor met certain criteria. Among those criteria were stipulations that the video had to be positive about the game; could not show any bugs or glitches that the reviewer may have found in the early release copy they were given to play; could not contain any negative sentiments about the game, Warner Bros., or its affiliates; and had to include “a strong verbal call-to-action to click the link in the description box for the viewer to go to the [game’s] website to learn more about the [game], to learn how they can register, and to learn how to play the game.”


The commission noted that the sponsored videos for Shadow of Mordor were viewed 5.5 million times, with PewDiePie’s sponsored video raking in more than 3.7 million of those views.