What’s in a name . . .

I just read this interesting post by Paul Levy on the Consumer Law & Policy Blog about a company that is saturating the internet with information about protecting people from scams so that when the average person like you and I go to our search engine and run a search for that name of that company and the word scam, to see if there are any reports by others of issues with them, what is coming up is this new show that they are a part of that exposes and warns people about scams.

Here is the post by Paul Levy . . .

I reported a couple of weeks ago that Vision Media TV Group, whose scam directed at unsophisticated non-profit groups thirsting for free publicity on public TV had apparently resurfaced under a new name, World Progress Report.  Since then, a few others have taken up the report (for example, Techdirt and Consumerist).  More remarkable is the response from World Progress Report, which has been churning out press release after press release about series that it is supposedly preparing to show on public television (put a big asterisk after both “show” and “public television), teaching consumers how to recognize “ponzi scams,” “mortgage scams,”and “foreclosure scams.”

At first, my reaction was to think about how ironic it was that the crowd behind World Progress / Vision Media was taking credit for showing up scams.  And wasn’t that cute?

But there is a more sinister explanation for this scam spam.  By this new strategy, World Progress Report is loading up the search results both for its own name, and for its name combined with the word “scam,” with reports about its supposed public television programming.  As a result, the information that impartial critics are calling it a scam are being buried in a welter of search results for its own self-promotion.

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