We’ve mentioned it before and we unfortunately have to mention it again, it’s of our opinion that advertising by way of “consumer news report” advertorials is misleading consumers.
These fake news site have been used to advertise “work at home” schemes, Make money with Google, Acai, colon cleanse products, reservatrol and others, now they’re being used to advertise penny auctions and we don’t like it.
Last year, Wired’s Kevin Poulsen reported on these fake news sites, he said “There’s something icky about the fake news ads showing up on genuine news sites like Salon, Slate and Huffington Post. Are things really so bad that we’ll let scammers use the tropes of journalism to lure consumers into shady deals?”
There are a few penny auction sites that told us they are not marketing this way, they say it’s their affiliate marketers that are making the ads, but if they haven’t, they need to tell their affiliate marketers to stop.
We’ve found a few of these fake news sites being advertised on Weather.com. The sites have names like The Memphis Gazette, Consumer News, Action News, Consumer Tips Digest, Penny Auctions Exposed, Consumer Advocate Weekly and others.
We think that some consumers are impressionable and don’t always know that these fake news sites are really fake news sites. Is this an honest way to market?
Many use images of French journalist and news anchor, Melissa Theuriau. Voted by many to be the most beautiful news anchor, it’s very unfortunate to see that so many marketers are using her image to make a profit. Many have used Melissa’s image to make it look like she’s the investigative reporter “investigating” or providing a positive “money saving” review about particular penny auction sites.
As policy on Penny Auction Watch we will not allow sites that are advertising by way of advertorial to advertise either on our blog or forum. If you find a site that is advertising by way of advertorial please let us know about it.
Also of concern, there are a few sites that are using icon logos of major news networks on their site next to the words “As Seen On” when in actuality there site has not been “seen on” these sites, some have only purchased paid press releases for Reuters, Yahoo, etc., they’ve not actually been interviewed or featured by these media outlets.
What do you think about penny auction sites marketing with these fake news sites? Let us know!