Thursday, June 25, 2009

You CAN buy this kind of press

Elsevier is caught trying to bribe 5-star Amazon reviews for one of its textbooks.

Congratulations and thank you for your contribution to Clinical Psychology. Now that the book is published, we need your help to get some 5 star reviews posted to both Amazon and Barnes & Noble to help support and promote it. As you know, these online reviews are extremely persuasive when customers are considering a purchase. For your time, we would like to compensate you with a copy of the book under review as well as a $25 Amazon gift card.

This is the same company that has been publishing fake journals that were designed to hide the fact that they were nothing but corporate advertising.

Here's my favorite part - the attempt at damage control that proves they really don't get it:
Cindy Minor, marketing manager for science and technology at Elsevier, said that the e-mail did not reflect Elsevier policy. She called the request for five star reviews "a poorly written e-mail" by "an overzealous employee."

Poorly written? Is there some clever way to write a bribe offer that would be something other than a bribe offer? Bribery is wrong only when it's done without a sense of style? Why do people always do this - you get caught in a bad action and you apologize only for the fact that it looked bad?


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