Belkin’s recent screw up reminds us that transaprency is king. What separates word of mouth most from advertising and PR is that WOM is natural, organic, unpaid, and comes from the consumer.
Not only does unethical WOM hurt the credibility of the industry, but get ready to be exposed. One of the best things about word of mouth is that anything buzzworthy can spread like wildfire.
Once The Daily Background broke the Belkin story, the post was submitted to Digg, where it eventually made the front page and was read by tens of thousands, and potentially hundreds of thousands of users.
Belkin has since issued this statement apologizing for the event, but is it enough? Probably not. Here’s just one more reason to keep things on the up and up. If people like you’re brand they’ll talk about it. Consider giving them the tools to do so, rather than hiring people to fake it.