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Huawei Got People To Write Fake Reviews For An Unreleased Phone

Huawei Got People To Write Fake Reviews For An Unreleased Phone

As spotted by 9to5Google, Huawei has apparently posted fake reviews on Best Buy for its new Mate 10 Pro, which is available for pre-order in the U.S. despite not having any deals with U.S. carriers. “The fake reviews, which are exclusively on the Best Buy website, are likely the result of a contest Huawei ran on Facebook,” reports The Verge. From the report: On January 31st, the company posted to a Facebook group with over 60,000 members, asking for people to leave comments on the Best Buy pre-sale page in exchange for a chance to beta test a Mate 10 Pro. The original post has been deleted, but 9to5Google obtained a screenshot before it went down. “Tell us how to why (sic) you WANT to own the Mate 10 Pro in the review section of our pre-sale Best Buy retail page,” the post states. On the Best Buy site, there are currently 108 reviews for the phone, 103 of which were written on or after January 31st, the day Huawei posted the contest. Many of the comments directly reference not having any actual hands-on experience with the product itself, but give the phone a five star rating. “I can’t wait to get my hands on this phone and demonstrate how amazing it is to people,” reads one. “This device looks exciting and beautiful and it would be amazing to have a chance to beta test it,” another reads. It seems Huawei is betting that loads of high ratings early on will make people trust the product and lead to higher sales. That’s all well and good except that these types of reviews are strictly against Best Buy policy, as 9to5Google points out. “Huawei’s first priority is always the consumer and we encourage our customers to share their experiences with our devices in their own voice and through authentic conversation,” a Huawei representative told The Verge in a statement. “While there are reviews from beta testers with extensive knowledge of the product, they were in no way given monetary benefits for providing their honest opinions of the product. However, we are working to remove posts by beta testers where it isn’t disclosed they participated in the review program.”

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Posted by amiller in advertising, Blog
Should Burger King Be Prosecuted For Their Google Home-Triggering Ads?

Should Burger King Be Prosecuted For Their Google Home-Triggering Ads?

Slashdot reader Lauren Weinstein thinks Burger King should be prosecuted for
successfully running an alternate version of its advertisement to trigger Google Home devices again Wednesday:
Someone — or more likely a bunch of someones — at Burger King and their advertising agency need to be arrested, tried, and spend some time in shackles and prison cells. They’ve likely been violating state and federal cybercrime laws with their obnoxious ad campaign… For example, the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act broadly prohibits anyone from accessing a computer without authorization… Burger King has instantly become the ‘poster child’ for mass, criminal abuse of these devices… It was a direct and voluntary violation of law.

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Posted by amiller in advertising, Blog
Burger King Won't Take Hint, Updates Ad To Trigger Google Home Devices Again

Burger King Won't Take Hint, Updates Ad To Trigger Google Home Devices Again

Burger King “successfully ran an alternate version of its advertisement designed to trigger Google Home devices late Wednesday,” according to the Washington Post. Long-time Slashdot reader ewhac writes that “According to spokesperson Dara Schopp, BK regards the ad as a success, as it has increased the brand’s ‘social conversation’ on Twitter by some 300%,” though he’s not a fan of “reaching through your TV speakers and directly messing with your digital devices. You may wish to consider alternate vendors for your burger needs.”

And Slashdot reader Lauren Weinstein thinks Burger King should be prosecuted. “Someone — or more likely a bunch of someones — at Burger King and their advertising agency need to be arrested, tried, and spend some time in shackles and prison cells. They’ve likely been violating state and federal cybercrime laws with their obnoxious ad campaign… For example, the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act broadly prohibits anyone from accessing a computer without authorization… Burger King has instantly become the ‘poster child’ for mass, criminal abuse of these devices… It was a direct and voluntary violation of law.”

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Posted by amiller in advertising, Blog
Burger King Won't Take a Hint; Alters TV Ad To Evade Google's Block

Burger King Won't Take a Hint; Alters TV Ad To Evade Google's Block

ewhac writes: Earlier this week, Burger King released a broadcast television ad that opened with an actor saying, “Ok, Google, what is the Whopper?” thereby triggering any Google Home device in hearing range to respond to the injected request with the first line from the Whopper’s Wikipedia page. Google very properly responded to the injection attack by fingerprinting the sound sample and blocking it from triggering responses. However, it seems Burger King and/or its ad agency are either unwilling or congenitally incapable of getting the hint, and has released an altered version of the ad to evade Google’s block. According to spokesperson Dara Schopp, BK regards the ad as a success, as it has increased the brand’s “social conversation” on Twitter by some 300%. It seems that Burger King thinks that malware-laden advertising infesting webpages is a perfectly wonderful idea (in principle, at least), and has taken it to the next level by reaching through your TV speakers and directly messing with your digital devices. You may wish to consider alternate vendors for your burger needs.

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Posted by amiller in advertising, Blog
Burger King Runs Ad Triggering Google Home Devices; Google Shuts It Down

Burger King Runs Ad Triggering Google Home Devices; Google Shuts It Down

Burger King unveiled a new advertisement earlier today designed to trigger users’ Google Home devices. The ad specifically used the Google Home trigger phrase “Okay, Google” to ask “What is the Whopper burger?,” thus triggering the Google Assistant to read off the top result from Wikipedia. But less than three hours after Burger King launched the ad, Google disabled the functionality. The Verge reports: As of 2:45PM ET, Google Home will no longer respond when prompted by the specific Burger King commercial that asks “What is the Whopper burger?” It does, however, still respond with the top result from Wikipedia when someone else (i.e., a real user) other than the advertisement asks the same question. Google has likely registered the sound clip from the ad to disable unwanted Home triggers, as it does with its own Google Home commercials.

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Posted by amiller in advertising, Blog