It appears that in a bid to get more attention for the Xbox One, Microsoft has become slightly confused over what is editorial and what is paid-for advertising.
Basically Microsoft offered Machinima channel users on Youtube additional cash for mentions of the Xbox One. "Fair enough", you might say, "this is called 'Advertorial' and will be clearly marked as such." Except it wasn't.Ars-Technica
reports that Microsoft launched, "a new promotion offering Machinima video partners an additional $3 CPM (i.e., $3 per thousand video views) for posting videos featuring Xbox One content. The promotion was advertised by Machinima's UK community manager in a since-deleted tweet...
"...To qualify for the campaign (and the extra payments), Machinima partners had to post a video including at least 30 seconds of Xbox One game footage that mentioned the Xbox One by name and included the tag "XB1M13.""
So far, so 'whatever, it's a free market'. But then the alleged contract
came to light. In here, it says:
"1. Do not post any Campaign Videos until January 13 at 12:00am PT;
2. You may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One or any of its Games in your Campaign Video;
3. You must feature at least thirty seconds (:30) of gameplay/footage of any Xbox One game within the first 2 minutes of Campaign Video
4. You must verbally mention that you are playing the game shown on the Xbox One console."
All fair enough for an openly stated advert or advertorial piece. But, as Ars points out, in this case there was no statement and:
"The arrangement as described might go against the FTC's guidelines for the use of endorsements in advertising, which demand full disclosure when there is "a connection between the endorser and the seller of the advertised product that might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement."
Do you care? Let us know in the comments.