Is this immoral??

by kswr123 31 replies
When you create your own product, do you ever fake testimonials?

Is it illegal?
Immoral?
Cheating?


What are your thoughts, as I've been asked to write a copy and "create my own testimonials"

Should I do it?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #immoral
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author TedMarlett
    Using fake testimonials is illegal. The FCC says you must have a hard copy of the testimonial filed if you use it.

    edit: That is for the U.S.
    Signature

    Get information on growing older and healthier.


    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130234].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Johnny Slater
    Originally Posted by saq3m View Post

    When you create your own product, do you ever fake testimonials?

    Is it illegal?
    Immoral?
    Cheating?


    What are your thoughts, as I've been asked to write a copy and "create my own testimonials"

    Should I do it?

    It is wrong on many levels, not least of which is that it is illegal. Fake testimonials can get you into serious legal trouble.
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130235].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
    OK, on the oft chance this is not a troll and you are a person seeking help...

    1) In the US faking testimonials is illegal and can get you into a lot of trouble with the federal gov't and most state gov't. Not worth the risks.

    2) Immoral? To me, yes. But morality is not a black and white area. In some parts of the world what I call a bribe is just part of doing business. To some eating beef is a mortal sin - to others its just a meal. So having said that - yes, I think its immoral.

    3) Cheating - yep, gonna have to go with its cheating.

    Just don't do it. As I said, in the US it is illegal. And if your customers find out - your reputation is trashed and your street cred is gone.

    respectfully,
    --Jack
    Signature
    Let's get Tim the kidney he needs!HELP Tim
    Mega Monster WSO for KimW http://ow.ly/4JdHm


    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130239].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Marie Pugh
    As far as I know, it is illegal to fake testimonials on a site. And, the truth is - it IS wrong. If the product isn't good enough to have people give real testimonials, then it shouldn't be sold to the public - simple as that.

    If you are being asked to do that, tell them you can do the copy, but that you won't make up testimonials. Tell them to get friends or anyone they can to review the product for them for free. Those people can then give honest reviews - and testimonials if they are deserved. If not, then the feedback can help to make the product better.

    But - I would never get involved with someone faking testimonials - it is cheating, immoral - pretty much anything else along that line that you can think of. And - illegal.

    Marie
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130241].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author kswr123
      thanks guys youve been a real help. ill do the copy without the testi.
      Signature
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130291].message }}
      • Originally Posted by saq3m View Post

        thanks guys youve been a real help. ill do the copy without the testi.
        But why do that? Just get some REAL testimonials. Testimonials are very strong selling tools.
        Signature
        Read this SURPRISING REPORT Before You Buy ANY WSO! Click Here
        FREE REPORT: Split Test Your Landing Pages the Easy Way
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130814].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
          One second immorality test - if you have to ask the question, then it almost certainly is.

          This more an ethics question to my mind, but that's semantics.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130823].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          I know all the copywriters here are going to tar and feather me, but I don't
          even bother getting testimonials anymore. My last few products, all of
          which are not even up at Clickbank, have no testimonials and STILL sell.

          Why?

          Well, I have a reputation now and can show some solid income proof. Not
          these faked screen shots, but videos.

          If somebody likes my product and after buying it sends me a kind word, I'll
          ask if I can use it as a testimonial. If not, no big deal.

          Yeah, I guess if you're just starting out, going out and getting testimonials
          will help you a lot, but truthfully, in the IM niche, people are pretty jaded
          about testimonials, looking at them as "payoffs" for getting the product
          for nothing. And let's face it, you know very well that when you come
          to this forum and make a post, "I need testimonials for my new book"
          you're going to get a lot of people who just want the book for free and
          will say anything to get it.

          Personally, testimonials mean very little to me anymore unless it's somebody
          I know very well.

          Jaded? Maybe. But I assure you, I'm not the only one.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130861].message }}
  • Real testimonials are so very easy to acquire, faking them doesn't seem necessary to me.
    Signature
    Read this SURPRISING REPORT Before You Buy ANY WSO! Click Here
    FREE REPORT: Split Test Your Landing Pages the Easy Way
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130283].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Illegal - and stupid.

      Is it ever done? Of course it is - and the minute someone discovers it, the seller's reputation (if they had any to begin with) is gone.

      Should you do it? Guess it depends on your own honesty and morals. I wouldn't work with someone who would suggest faking testimonials.

      kay
      Signature

      Saving one dog may not change the world - but forever changes the world of one dog.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130296].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Eric Engel
      Even if you're not working with other marketers, you want to create a trust-worthy relationship with them. Using fake testimonials is a good way to tell the rest of the industry "You can't trust me...don't do business with me."

      But I commend you for sticking your neck out and asking. It took some hehe.

      For any noob just coming into the industry, it would SEEM like a lot of the testimonials are made up. So noobs often just assume that they are (especially after seeing so many of them in the viagra spam people always get).

      But really, if the marketer is a pro, and it's a legitimate company, those testes are real.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130319].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Stephen Saha
    Its surely immoral. It can only gain you short term. In the long run your reputation is at stake.
    Try keep the testimonial emails printed or safely stored to avoid any legal hassle.

    Stephen
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130323].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    It IS illegal!
    It IS immoral!
    It IS "cheating"! I hesitate to say cheating because that is like saying that peeling a persons skin off, rubbing alcohol on them, rubbing salt on them, and then starving them to death is mistreatment! YEP, it IS cheating, just as the other is mistreatment, but it is too gentle a term to be said with a straight face.

    Steve
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130415].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Clark
    Create a WSO for your product.

    Refund purchases of the number of high quality testimonials that you receive (with their permission to publish) as a secret bonus and/or give them something (a gift) for their efforts.

    Easy as pie, will make you money and also legal with the potential of receiving JV requests as well.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130504].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author peteinoz
    I think its a legitimate question.

    What do new people know till they ask? For all they know. every testimonial is fake? till they ask.

    New people come along and see so many Sales Pages with obviously fake testimonials.

    How many clickbank products do you see with fake testimonials? A. = LOTS

    So good question raised and some very good answers supplied..


    pete
    Signature
    HangoutMillionaire.com World Premeire Automated Video Marketing Software, Streams YouTube Live and Google Hangouts. Special Offer Link!
    Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/peterdrew
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130851].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
      I have also had some conversations with a fairly high level copywriter who makes it a pint to write the testimonials as part of the complete package. Then they let the client do with them as they please.

      I felt a little greasy after that conversation.

      I do not think that is the right thing or the legal thing to do, especially when pretty much all you have to do is ask.
      Signature


      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130859].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kate Anderson
    I've been asked to include testimonials on the web packages or copywriting work that I do, and I refuse. I won't even write in samples (that they are supposed to modify and replace with real ones later one), because the one time I did do that, they used them 'as is'.

    It's illegal, unethical and plain amateur. Those testimonials rarely mean anything without an active website attached to the name (so people can check out who is giving it a thumbs up) and with fake ones, you'll find it a bit difficult to do that.

    Oh and did I mention, it's illegal?

    Hardly worth risking your reputation on something so silly.. If your product is good, even decent, you should be able to hand out some review copies and get enough reviews to feature on your site.

    Then again, free review copies in exchange for a review is another matter up for debate I suppose..
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130881].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
      @ Alexa, a pint, huh, where's my spell checker.

      Actually, i was dumbfounded that he told me he did this. My respect for him went through the floor, in tiny little droplets of icky goo.

      He still is working too.
      Signature


      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130892].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
        @ Content Girl. Good for you. I never have done this either, I have been asked, like you said, for "sample testimonials", but I have not done them. For a while I hae pretty much confined my writing to my own products' sales letters.
        Signature


        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130895].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mentorjoe
    Hello Friend,

    My suggestion to you is to be honest, live truthfully, and you will be blessed for that.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130924].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    Why not ask Warriors to review it - offer free copies to the first five or ten people that will review it for you?

    Honestly you should do that anyway because if it is a brand new product you should get feedback from people, who will likely spot minor flaws that you wouldn't have noticed yourself.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130948].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author zerofill
      Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

      Why not ask Warriors to review it - offer free copies to the first five or ten people that will review it for you?

      Honestly you should do that anyway because if it is a brand new product you should get feedback from people, who will likely spot minor flaws that you wouldn't have noticed yourself.
      Dangit Dana you were saying that the same time I was lol
      Signature
      Serp Shaker
      The IM World Will Be Shaken to the Core!
      Join my list at: IMCool.Biz
      New Podcast --> podcast.imcool.biz
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130951].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author zerofill
    Just offer some copies of whatever you are doing to some people and get real testimonials...It isn't hard to get real ones...If your product is good. People will say good things about it...
    Signature
    Serp Shaker
    The IM World Will Be Shaken to the Core!
    Join my list at: IMCool.Biz
    New Podcast --> podcast.imcool.biz
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130950].message }}
  • Yes, it's very illegal and very immoral.

    Is that really surprising?
    Signature
    "The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[130955].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    Here's a rule of thumb for you in the future.

    If you have to ask if something is immoral, it probably is.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[131444].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author RenaissanceMan
    just get REAL testimonials... it's easy!!
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[131652].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
    I think we need a few more people to weigh in on this, since there doesn't seem to be a consensus.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[131663].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bob Monie
    Im surprised you would even have to ask if its immoral or not.

    just ask yourself how you would feel if you bought a product because the testimonials talked you into it, then you found out they where fake.

    Id think you would be pretty pissed off. Its a con.

    Who ever told you to do that needs to be dobbed in.
    Signature
    Will be the next authority article directory. Come take a look around. Submit and Publish your own articles.
    200,000+ Articles, 48,000+ Authors, Articles indexed in Google in under 1 minute
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[131680].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics