Swann Wants Us to Swindle You

By: John Honovich, Published on Jul 30, 2013

What a bizarre pitch I just received. Even for a PR person, this is amazing:

"I wanted to reach out to you for ... a story about how Security Systems can help small start-up business stay afloat. I am able to send you a full system from Swann Security ... that we can have installed in your home or business for a full in depth review. The backbone of the story could be how in a brand new startup business, protection against theft from customers and employees can be minimized with a reliable security system."

**** *********** ********** ***** blast ******* ** ****** to *********** *** **** ** me ****, *** * quote, "****** ***** ******* ******* / **** *** / chicken **** *****"

** ** ***** ** sends ** * ********* OEMed kit *** ** *** supposed ** ***** *** wonderful ** **? **'** pass.

**** ****, *** ******* reviews *** *** ** consumer ********** ***** *** likely ******* ** **** such ******* ****** / setups.

****: ** ****** * similar *** **** **** and **** ** ********* a **** ****** ** it **** *****. **** space ** ***********, *** we *** *** ***** to ** ***** ****** and ****** ** ******* wing ****** ** ******.

Comments (20)

"That said, the garbage reviews you see on consumer electronic sites are likely powered by many such similar offers / setups."

That sword cuts both ways. I recently read an article describing how a lobbyist group (read: PR firm) is trashing a book with negative reviews on Amazon that is critical of communications companies.

See: Fake reviews on Amazon lowering the reputation of a book critical of Big Telco

So they want you to write phony positive reviews and, if you don't, they post phony negative reviews. Well played!

Oh, there've been stories of people getting SUED over poor online reviews on Amazon, eBay, TripAdvisor, even Yelp. As well as over fake self-reviews.

This may sound like an old cliche, but my late father would always tell me.."Son, there is NO SUCH THING as a free lunch, PERIOD..."

At least I can eat lunch, what am I going to do with a DVR? :)

Was this a random call or did he know who you were?

It was a generic email blast. I am not sure if he knew how I was but it seems the 'spray and pay' tactic is common for PR firms.

I'm assuming our names were on a list from somewhere, because I got one, too.

Ethan, please send him an email, asking them to submit their own article so we can run it as is. I'd love to hear his response.

Awww, now I feel left out - I didn't get an email. Not being a journalist or anything, I have no problem accepting free crappy gear that I can hawk on fleaBay for some beer money :D

(Just kidding... MAYBE...)

If he is truly a golf pro, why is he sending out these emails?

Inside every man, there are two dogs. One is a golf pro, the other likes chicken wings... wait, what?

Lol Brian

Ancient Chinese fast-food-place proverb, Brian? :)

No, I think the golf pro likes chicken wings...? Inside every sales guy is a golf pro that likes chicken.

This guy pitched us again today but his messaging was different this time:

"I wanted to see if you might be the right person for a hands on review of Swann’s latest 4 camera 1080p HD security system. I have put below all the great details of this new system and I would love to get you more information and a unit to test. Having the ability to see what is happening in real time in HD via the SwannView app from your smartphone lets you have a peace of mind when away from your home or business."

This is pretty common practice, it seems. Google "Maddox". His webpage is called "The best Page In The Universe" or something like that. I won't link it, because I'm lazy. He got one of these emails from a wedding veil company, and he aggreed to do the review. The review was, eh hem, thorough. The veil was not very flame resistant, but bodily fluids were sufficient to put out the flames.

Send the gear to me, I'll review it. :evil grin:

Woah, that's a quite a website. Here's the wedding veil post. It's sort of not nsfw or at least R rated.

I agree on the rating. Had to look at it at home. Funny as h-e-double toothpicks though (so you can preserve your G rating).

Oh... and my comments were only based on the review of the veil.

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