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OCTOBER 18, 2009   

Scambusters or shills?

I got an email recently alerting me to a new website that claims to provide "Unbiased Infomercial Reviews on Video." I watched several of the videos at InfoNOTmericial.com and found them to be interesting and entertaining but possibly a bit more enthusiastic than the products deserve. The review of the Slap Chop was an exception, by far the most negative of the four I watched.

Screenshot from Infonotmercial websiteWhile I like the way the site's hosts recreate parts of the original infomercial and show the results, I'm concerned that they may not be critical enough.

As you see in this screen shot, each of the reviews is paired with a listing of online sellers of the product. This business model seems to lean in a direction that could compromise their objectivity.

The site explains: "We do not accept reviewer copies of any product that we will review to be sure we're reviewing the same quality product as our visitors will get." On the other hand, "...the website is supported by advertising revenue."

With the prominently-displayed "Lowest Prices From Around The Web" providing the site's income, there's a clear incentive to make reviews generally positive. Too many negative product reviews would eventually dry up the website's revenue stream.

As an entertaining source for more information about what you've seen advertised on TV, I recommend InfoNOTmercial.com. I'm somewhat skeptical of how unbiased its reviews are, due to the built-in bias towards selling product. Consumer Reports it's not.

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