It was recently brought to our attention that there is a fair amount of backlash in the video gaming community regarding attempts by Sony to create fan sites for consoles and games, including its PSP when it was first introduced. A Web site based in the United Kingdom, devoted to keeping the gaming industry honest, calls attention to marketers creating a “fake” fan site designed to sing the praises of the PSP.

According to the whistle-blowing Web site, blog administrators working on behalf of Sony blocked words such as “viral” and “marketing” from the comment fields and deleted posts that criticize the product.

At F.A.D.S. we feel marketers have a responsibility to allow a fair representation of what audiences think of products, companies, and services. HOWEVER, we do believe in protecting ourselves and our clients from potentially damaging posts that may be untrue.

As marketers, we sometimes walk a tight line between reporting a balanced story and preventing unfounded, negative posts on sponsored online media. As governing organizations such as the Word of Mouth Marketing Association lay the ground work for rules concerning online communication, it is up to us as a marketing community to abide by ethics and provide our audiences with factual content and open forums to discuss what is important to them.