UPDATE: As noted in the comments by Johnny Yuma, all of the social accounts associated with "A Perfect Galaxy" have been taken offline. Poof. (This means the video will no longer play.) Screenshots from the Tumblr blog will be added at the end of this post.
The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a paid endorsement – like any other advertisement – is deceptive if it makes false or misleading claims.
Tech website Gizmodo recently featured a video purporting to show "the first ever drag race scratch test" pitting a Samsung Galaxy S III against an iPhone 4S. In the video, an out-of-breath (and unseen) narrator drags the devices behind a car and, just as he predicts, the iPhone is scratched all to hell while the Galaxy S III is left mostly intact.
Eric Limer, over on Gizmodo:
This is the first ever "Drag Race Scratch Test" in which YouTuber aperfectgalaxy submits both phones to dragging hell and sees which comes out the least demolished. On top of the whole phone-dragging thing, our host is delightful, even if his footage is jittery as hell and makes you feel like you've just had 16 cups of coffee too many.
As of right now, the drag race is the only video posted to the aperfectgalaxy youtube account. Go ahead and take a look:
http://www.aperfectgalaxy.com I know that the Samsung Galaxy SIII beats iPhone 4s on scratch and drop tests, but what happens when both phones get dragged by a car?
Fishy, right? Not since stumbling upon Mike Daisey's work have I felt so certain that something was rotten in the state of Denmark.
Not only is "aperfectgalaxy" a YouTube channel, it's also a pretty generic looking blog on Tumblr. The posts try very hard to come across as the goofy -- yet spontaneous and authentic -- ramblings of a rabid Samsung fan:
So the Galaxy M is on its way. Call me a completist, maybe even an obsessive, but I MUST get this phone.
Nothing on the blog lists any affiliation "anonymous fan" might have with Samsung, or any entity acting on Samsung's behalf and, indeed, an earlier post paints a picture of a blogger "dooced" (nice touch) from his day job after getting caught writing about Samsung:
After doing some Googling of my alias and going through all of the timestamps on my Tweets, he accused me of Tweeting on company time. I may have been, or I may not have been: I refuse to say ON PRINCIPLE because our IT policy didn’t explicitly state that I couldn’t use company time to pursue my own independent projects. But! It matters not, because I am now officially unemployed.
I wish I could say I did a lot of sleuthing in my quest to uncover the truth, but all it took was a quick whois search on the aperfectgalaxy domain and this came up:
Registrant Name: Jason Hyland
Registrant Company: Jam
Registrant Address: 160 great portland st
Registrant Address: London
Registrant Address: W1W 7RT
Registrant Address: United Kingdom
Technical Name: Webfusion Limited
Technical Company: Webfusion Limited
Technical Address: 5 Roundwood Avenue
Technical Address: Stockley Park
Technical Address: Uxbridge
Technical Address: UB11 1FF
Technical Address: United Kingdom
Technical Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical Tel: +44.8712309525
Administrative Name: Jason Hyland
Administrative Company: Jam
Administrative Address: 160 great portland st
Administrative Address: London
Administrative Address: W1W 7RT
Administrative Address: United Kingdom
Administrative Email: email@example.com
Administrative Tel: +44.2031286866
My first thought was to check up on Jason Hyland but I realized it would be quicker to visit spreadingjam.com and see if that turned anything up.
The first in our series of Breakfree Films for Samsung has gone live.
Working since 2008 – and now part of Engine – we’re a 70 strong team of analysts, community managers, customer service specialists, mobile strategists, digital media & PR experts, designers and developers. And we’re working with some big brands like Sky, Samsung, Renault, Next, News International, ODEON and Comet amongst others.
So, to sum up:
The "first ever drag race scratch test" is a seemingly fan-based viral video which is tied to a seemingly fan-based blog with a domain name that was registered by a social advertising agency called Spreading Jam which is a paid client of Samsung.
Nothing on the Spreading Jam website mentions this connection and there's no effort to disclose the affiliation on any of the aperfectgalaxy social sites. (There's also a Twitter account.)
Which only leaves one question: If Spreading Jam is willing to lie about or hide its affiliation with Samsung, why should anyone have any confidence that they didn't alter the iPhone prior to the start of the video?