I’m glad the FTC fished this out.
The Xbox one may have come a long way since its launch, but back when it was still suffering from the disastrous reveal at E3 2013, it was trying to get all the good publicity that it could get. YouTube group Machinima came up with a program for just that- make a positive video about the Xbox One, get paid extra. And of course, don’t talk about this program, because NDAs.
It was shady and underhanded, and apparently, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States thinks so too. Slamming Machinima for deceptive marketing, done without full disclosure, they released a statement pointing out that a settlement had been reached that would prevent Machinima from pulling something like this ever again.
“In numerous instances, Respondent has failed to disclose, or disclose adequately, that the individuals who posted the reviews were compensated in connection with their endorsements,” wrote the FTC. “This fact would be material to consumers in their purchasing decisions regarding Xbox One and the Launch Titles. The failure to disclose this fact, in light of the representations made, was, and is, a deceptive practice.”
Yeesh. I mean, under Spencer, the Xbox division seems to be a different entity entirely, but yikes, guys.