Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Dogbert666, 25 May 2017.
PMSL when I read the last sentence Not just short, or really short... Very subtle
Been ill with the flu this week, brain working a lot slower than usual which means very very slowly!
You mean that starting paragraph? No-where does it say "this is an advert", nowhere does it says "this is not up to our usual independent standards", or more accurately "we just took AMD's money and are writing what they told us too".
Even if it did that still wouldn't be ok. This is meant to be an independent review site, that was not an independent review. Should I be able to trust anything else you write about AMD as you are now on the payroll - you dare not slag them off in other articles or you'll loose your "Advert" revenue?
It's all about integrity, and for a review site that is vital, loose that and you might as well just jack it all in now. Selling it for a few pounds is just stupidity - many sites have done that and are now no where to be found.
Why stop there?
Clearly, you shouldn't trust anything this site says about Gigabyte, Asus, MSI, Ubisoft, Cooler Master, or Aurora Labs - 'cos there are literal adverts for those right on the front page. After all, if the site slags off one of those it'd 'loose' its advertising revenue, right? Oh, also... <hits refresh a few times to get new adverts> AOC, Inno3D, CyberPower PC, BladeVPS, Renault(!) or Be Quiet!.
Just out of interest, how exactly do you think the site is funded if not via advertising? Did you put your credit card details in somewhere to read the articles? Is there a coin slot I'm missing?
If you count taking a company's coin for advertising as a loss of independence, then I'd love for you to show me a single website larger than one guy in his parent's basement that could be classed as independent under your criteria.
Come on Gareth, there's a difference between adverts on websites and advertorial articles published by websites. But sure, almost all commercial websites rely on advertising to survive.
As a matter of interest, would you write one of these articles and have it published under your name, Gareth, even with the disclaimer?
Speaking generally and not in any way, shape, or form on behalf of bit-tech or its owners and with no foreknowledge of the future direction of advertising on this site specifically 'cos I'm just a lowly freelancer: I reckon you'll be seeing a lot more advertorials as time goes on, if only to counteract the fact that every bugger's running an adblocker these days.
But was this an advertorial? Sure, it was commissioned by AMD - which I'm assuming means AMD paid for it, either directly in Filthy Cash Money or indirectly in advertising commitment. A major feature of true advertorials, though, is that the advertiser has content approval - in other words, they have final say on the article's content. That wasn't the case, here: the disclaimer makes clear that AMD just said "here, take these two graphics cards, a copy of Prey, the CPU we already loaned you, and this bag of cash and write a bit about how the game works in Crossfire" and then the testing and writing of the article itself was independent.
In other words, had Prey turned out to suck in Crossfire then the article would have said "Crossfire sucks lol" and AMD wouldn't have been able to do a damn thing about it. To clarify: the article was commissioned by AMD, but the testing was entirely independent (but with a predetermined outcome: there was zero chance AMD would have commissioned the piece had it not already tested it internally and found that Prey Crossfire works a treat.)
Let's say that, despite the testing being independent and AMD having no copy approval, the piece still counts as a true advertorial. That's fair: you accept cash from a company to write something, you're doing it on behalf of said company. Trouble is, where do we draw the line? Games journos are frequently flown out to foreign climes, wined and dined by publishers so they'll write up previews and reviews of games. Are they advertorials? Sure, no actual cash changed hands, but flights, hotel stays, food, open bars, and in the bad old days ladies of negotiable virtue to keep you company ain't free.
What about hardware reviews? Does a review lose its independent status if a company sends you over a few grand's worth of gear on loan? What if they 'forget' to ask for it back? You've got the same outcome, here: a site wouldn't have reviewed Untel's Widget-7 if Untel hadn't sent 'em one to play with, so Untel has literally paid - in goods, not cash - for coverage.
If Our Glorious Editor had approached me to do the testing, yes: AMD ain't paying me jack, and I'm entirely independent. If AMD had approached me directly and said "hey, here's a sack of cash, fancy writing about how wonderful Crossfire is in one of your outlets," then no.
There's a disclosures section on my website which names the companies I've entered into direct financial relationships with - typically for consultancy or copywriting work. If a company is named therein, I don't review their stuff. Simple as that. That stops working at one remove, though: I won't review AMD stuff if AMD's been paying me, but if I stop reviewing AMD stuff 'cos AMD's paying my client for advertising then I'm not going to be able to review anything.
I have, however, accepted other considerations from companies I still cover: trips. Intel paid for me to go to the International Supercomputing Conference one year, flights, hotel, and everything, with the proviso that I had to attend its Xeon Phi unveiling - which I would have attended anyway. Qualcomm paid for me to go to Istanbul for the Innovation Qualcomm conference one year, complete with a rather lovely boat ride on the Bosphorus as evening entertainment. Since having kids, though, my international travel has been severely curtailed, so it's been a while since I've been further afield than Liverpool!
Now, the more important question is "would I continue to have as a client an outlet if I believed that an advertiser was exerting undue influence on editorial" - in other words, that one of the above-named companies could ask for a negative review to be softened, changed, or outright removed under threat of pulling an advertising campaign. The answer to that one is easy, and I've given it before: absolutely bloody not.
Thanks for clarifying your stance, Gareth - the only reason that I asked was because I remembered you making a point about not reviewing stuff from people who you've had a financial relationship with, and wondered how this sort of article might fit in with those principles. Cheers.
How else would you interpret:
how do you like it for things other than gaming?
what was your old monitor?
Separate names with a comma.