Before entering the subject, here is a warning: the hyperlink to this story will not work except if you're a paid subscriber of The Wall Street Journal. So, if you are not one of these subscribers, go to your newsstand and buy the Journal or go to a library near you.
Did you know that you could pay (at least) one of the market-research companies to publish good reviews of your products? I remember several weeks back when a so-called study said that AMD microprocessors didn't perform as well as Intel's ones. It was rumored that Intel himself was behind the story. The Wall Street Journal decided to investigate. Here is the beginning of the article.
Last year, Onetta Inc., a Silicon Valley fiber-optics start-up, wanted to call attention to its innovative communications products. So, it says, it told its story to Aberdeen Group, a market-research firm in Boston.
Aberdeen seemed to be impressed, because it soon published a very positive research report. The report said, for instance, that Onetta had a "commitment to high performance" and an "intelligent product roadmap," and that it "worked to build highly satisfied customer relationships."
But there was one little detail the report omitted: that Onetta had paid Aberdeen $8,000 to have it written.
Welcome to the world of "praise for pay" research, another of the high-tech world's dirty little secrets.
I've seen many things in my life, but I can still be surprised.
Source: Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2002 (Paid registration Required)
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