KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Trying to Buy Love

The online newsletter Inside Higher Ed is running a story, dated June 23, saying that the marketing department of textbook publisher Elsevier sent out e-mails to textbook authors offering $25 Amazon.com gift cards to anyone who would post a five-star (positive) review of a new Elsevier textbook to Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com. Elsevier is now reportedly saying that the offer was "a poorly written e-mail" by "an overzealous employee" and that the company wants "unbiased, honest reviews."
Here's what the e-mail—sent to contributors to the textbook—said:

"Congratulations and thank you for your contribution to Clinical Psychology. Now that the book is published, we need your help to get some 5 star reviews posted to both Amazon and Barnes & Noble to help support and promote it. As you know, these online reviews are extremely persuasive when customers are considering a purchase. For your time, we would like to compensate you with a copy of the book under review as well as a $25 Amazon gift card. If you have colleagues or students who would be willing to post positive reviews, please feel free to forward this e-mail to them to participate. We share the common goal of wanting Clinical Psychology to sell and succeed. The tactics defined above have proven to dramatically increase exposure and boost sales. I hope we can work together to make a strong and profitable impact through our online bookselling channels."
Overzealous employee. Uh-huh. This is the same company whose parent corporation, Reed Elsevier, used to host international weapons fairs in London, Abu Dhabi, various cities in Europe, Rio de Janeiro, and Taiwan that were attended by high-ranking military officials from all over the world ... until uproar in the medical research community convinced the corporation to drop the shows. Physicians, who are trained to save lives, didn't like knowing that their research articles were being published in medical journals produced by Elsevier, whose parent corporation was showcasing tools for taking lives.

This is also the same company whose marketing department produced fake medical journals to help Big Pharma sell more drugs.

It keeps getting harder to find honesty in this world.

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