ReviewMe Responds To Fraudulent Listing of Lifehacker, BoingBoing, MAKE…

Patrick Gavin of ReviewMe, the site caught selling reviews on Consumerist’s sister-site Lifehacker, as well as BoingBoing and MAKE, has responded via IM. In short, he claims that there was a loophole in the site that allowed people to submit sites that weren’t theirs…

Patrick: hey meghan its Patrick Gavin from ReviewMe/Text-Link-Ads
Meghann Marco: Hi there.
Patrick: just left a comment on your post
Patrick: my apologies
Patrick: basically we had a loophole where publishers could submit a site that was not theirs
Meghann Marco: I see.
Patrick: it got listed but no advertiser money was taken bc a review would have to have been completed on the said site
Patrick: again it was stupid on our part a mistake but not malicious
Patrick: we are fixing it as we speak and again sorry for the confusion
Meghann Marco: Can you explain why money was taken for a review on Lifehacker?
Patrick: yes
Patrick: money is not taken at checkout, an advertiser’s credit card is pre approved
Patrick: it is only charged on completed reviews that we have to approve
Patrick: so i am assuming that was the case with that one, that the advertiser did go through checkout, their card was pre approved, but then the review was never completed obviously
Patrick: as it would have had to be completed on lifehacker
Meghann Marco: Ok, that makes sense. Would it be ok to post from this chat?
Patrick: definitely and thx for listening
Meghann Marco: No problem. Thanks for the information. We appreciate it.

Don’t know about Patrick but we would have noticed if we suddenly got the right to shill review space on Lifehacker, BoingBoing and MAKE. That’s just us, though. What do we know about marketing? Anyhow, the mystery is solved. —MEGHANN MARCO

PREVIOUSLY: Caught Selling “Product Reviews” On Lifehacker, BoingBoing


Edit Your Comment

  1. adamondi says:

    The notion that one could simply buy a review on ANY site is horrible. Why bother calling it a review? Why not just call it what it is? Marketing BS.

  2. Trai_Dep says:

    They’ve got to be some kind of stoopid advertising shill reviews on Lifehacker, BoingBoing, etc. Talk about hitting both of their sweet spots for snarky ridicule…

    File under, “there’s no such thing as bad press,” perhaps?

  3. dohtem says:

    I still remain skeptical. I am not convinced this was totally innocent.

  4. shiny says:

    It was an honest oversight. A loophole. A mistake. I’m sure that the site isn’t trying to make revenue in any type of sketchy way. They’re performing a service towards the greater good of the blogosphere.

    (I have been paid $5.53 for posting this comment.)

  5. Scazza says:

    Is there a law against attempting to sell something you do not have the right to sell, and advertising that fact?

  6. emom says:

    I have to stand behind ReviewMe and Patrick Gavin on this one. I’ve sent questions to TextLinkAds as a smaller blogger, and Patrick has answered the emails himself on occasion. Why the heck would he risk sinking any of his great companies for a measly $250? They are raking in the dough in other places, there is no logical reason to think that any of this smells of a conspiracy.

    PS – I have no affiliation with the company besides making $120 a month off of TLA ads. Again, not worth it to me to risk my reputation by standing behind them over such a little amount of cash.

  7. Kyle says:

    Actually this site is not as sleazy as it looks. The reviewer must disclose it is a paid ad. From the FAQ:

    “What are the review guidelines?

    We like to keep the guidelines loose, so bloggers can write in a way that makes sense for their unique niche and audience. We do require that all reviews are at least 200 words long, and that the review post is disclosed as being sponsored in some fashion. “

  8. thewinchester says:

    Before I continue, I will disclose that my own blog has been listed (by myself) on Review Me.

    I can understand the views of the sceptics like adamondi et al about the purchasing of reviews. There were already a number of services very similar to Review Me in the market prior to their entry.

    One of the things however with Review Me is that there is no need for the review to be positive. In fact the only review i’ve done so far (Which was on Review Me) wasn’t all that positive of their service, it was sceptical but supportive of the idea they were trying to achieve. I was paid for that article regardless of my opinion on what they were offering.

    All Review Me allows to do is connect companies with bloggers who are interested in their product/service, and allows them to right an honest opinion of the service. Bloggers can refuse to review, as well as be totally honest in a constructive manner about the product/service. Particularly in this day and age it’s always nice to be able to offset the cost of your blogging now and again with some honest income.

  9. lore says:

    @adamondi: How is this really any different than computer hardware manufacturers sending samples to different hardware review sites? Most of those sites (granted, not all) get to keep the products after the review for their own use.

  10. @adamondi: The reviews from such sites don’t have to be positive and could very well be completely negative. Bad marketing doesn’t do well for advertisers, because then they have reputation management to worry about too.

  11. Chongo says:

    I have a question… Please be kind in any response as I do not entirley know how this site operates in regards to this.

    How did the rep from ReviewMe get a comment account here so fast? is registration open now? I had to lurk for a couple of weeks and then wait for an invitation from ben through some chat site. Can you change your account name?

    How does anyone know this guy is who he says he is?

  12. - says:

    Reviews are inherently untrustworthy to me, when they are paid for. Also, from browsing through the list of reviewme blogs, who in their right mind would pay $40+ for some of these sites for a review?

    Complete waste of money.

    Also, just a poor copy of

  13. wezelboy says:

    I wonder if this is the same Patrick Gavin that specializes in “search engine optimization”

    Pretty shady if you ask me.

  14. willms_jay says:

    Obviously this wasn’t accidental. It was a great way for them to get exposure and interest. Maybe someone orders one review from slashdot, and a few from some real participating publishers. Slashdot cancels and does not complete the review, but they still make the sale.