IRATE BLOGGERS are up in arms at Asus after a blogging competition at electricpig.com turned sour.
A while back, Asus decided it would save itself ooodles of cash on marketing and advertising by picking six people from the ranks of the unwashed masses and asking them to 'blog' about certain products they'd been given for review. Readers, said Asus, would be able to vote for their favorite blogger and the winner of the popular vote would be able to keep their Asus review kit. But alas, it wasn't to be.
Readers, in their naive ignorance, voted for a particularly honest - read, not entirely Asus kissing - blogger by the name of Gavyn Britton, a choice Asus wasn't so keen on. So the Taiwanese computer maker decided to change the rules of the competition.
It announced that the readers' vote was all very quaint and democratic, but that, instead, the six bloggers had to vote for each other and that would decide the competition. This sudden change in the rules led to a different blogger, Emma Hill, winning three out of six blogger votes.
With much pomp and ceremony, Asus announced that Ms Hill had won 50 per cent of the blogger vote which, while accurate, was also seriously misleading. Therefore, while she didn't win the popular vote, Emma Hill got to keep her Asus Eee Top ET1602 whilst poor old Gavyn Britton got shrugged off with an Eee PC for his troubles, instead of the much more expensive G71V 17-inch laptop that he had reviewed.
Over the last week, the INQ has been inundated with complaints about Asus' competition and its winner selection process, with many feeling Asus cynically used bloggers as a cheap way of generating buzz in an ad campaign that cost it very little.
When we confronted Asus, we were told by a spokesperson, "It was certainly not our intention to play dirty in the blogging campaign."
A statement from the firm bizarrely reads "Certain aspects of the voting system meant that we felt it was no longer not a level playing field for all of the bloggers. Some might argue that people were simply using the power of the internet. We felt that the fairest way would be to ask each blogger to vote for their favourite."
The double negative in that statement is an unintentionally comedic but devastatingly telling Freudian slip.
So, Asus didn't mind using the "power of the internet" to promote its products, but allowing readers to vote for a favorite blogger whom Asus didn't want to see win was not okay apparently.
Asus also told the INQ it had "upgraded the Eee PC model supplied to each blogger to thank them for their time," but neglected to say what it had upgraded to.
But despite the firm's insistence that "there was no intention to worm out of awarding the rightful winner their prize," we still find the whole affair more than a little odious. µ