LG tries to control monitor review

1_rick

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TL;DR: a marketing person insisted that any review of this particular monitor be tested a specific way, presumably because it looked good with those particular tests, and asked to be able to see drafts of reviews before publishing, and mentioned compensation for same. When HWUB told them that wasn't going to happen, the response was "we're afraid a bad review will hurt sales of this monitor, and we're going to have to ask you not to publish our review if you won't do what we tell you."

Hardware Unboxed are the guys that briefly got blacklisted by nVIdia last year for not fluffing RTX.
 
D

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Their honesty in explaining why there were doing it was hilarious. No careful corporate speak there.
 

Nobu

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When HWUB told them that wasn't going to happen, the response was "we're afraid a bad review will hurt sales of this monitor, and we're going to have to ask you not to publish our review if you won't do what we tell you."
Well, no shit, Holms. It'd hurt any monitor's sales. Know what else would hurt sales? No review AND bad PR...
 

longblock454

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Pretty good video. The only reviews i've ever read/watched were from [H] so I have no experience on others standards, does Hardware Unboxed have a good Reputation? (sounds like that might be the case)

Hope he does a follow up, I'd guess there is more to come from LG's side.
 

AzixTGO

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Not sure there is a problem with them getting the draft. But besides that, they seem to have wanted to hide specific weaknesses of the product. That's a major purpose a review can serve so its crossing the line.
 

sc5mu93

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Pretty good video. The only reviews i've ever read/watched were from [H] so I have no experience on others standards, does Hardware Unboxed have a good Reputation? (sounds like that might be the case)

Hope he does a follow up, I'd guess there is more to come from LG's side.
I think they do a pretty good job. Personally, I really appreciate their specific VRM testing on various budget boards. They really do help budget buyers steer clear of crap boards.
EDIT: That said, I would trade them all in a heartbeat for Bennet and friends to "get the band back together" for HardOCP.
 

Brackle

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Pretty good video. The only reviews i've ever read/watched were from [H] so I have no experience on others standards, does Hardware Unboxed have a good Reputation? (sounds like that might be the case)

Hope he does a follow up, I'd guess there is more to come from LG's side.
They have a really good track record. If I remember correctly they also run the techspot website?

Hardware Unboxed is just one of the few youtube review websites I watch since [H] stopped doing reviews.
 

StryderxX

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TL;DR: a marketing person insisted that any review of this particular monitor be tested a specific way, presumably because it looked good with those particular tests, and asked to be able to see drafts of reviews before publishing, and mentioned compensation for same. When HWUB told them that wasn't going to happen, the response was "we're afraid a bad review will hurt sales of this monitor, and we're going to have to ask you not to publish our review if you won't do what we tell you."

Hardware Unboxed are the guys that briefly got blacklisted by nVIdia last year for not fluffing RTX.
Hmmm seems like LG is trying to hide something related to that monitor. I suggest you all stay far away from that thing!
 

Lumpus

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HB is one of the very best tech review sites. I check them and Tech Jesus every morning, almost first thing.
/Jingles is still my #1 site to wake-up to ;)
 
D

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HB is one of the very best tech review sites. I check them and Tech Jesus every morning, almost first thing.
/Jingles is still my #1 site to wake-up to ;)
Yup, straightforward and thorough reviews, without trying to be entertaining in the typical Youtuber cringe kind of way. And you cannot go wrong with those Aussie accents.

Gamers Nexus I'm hot and cold on. The quality of their reviews is excellent, it's just the snark. Sometimes I find it hilarious, sometimes annoying, my mood depending.
 

1_rick

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They have a really good track record. If I remember correctly they also run the techspot website?

Hardware Unboxed is just one of the few youtube review websites I watch since [H] stopped doing reviews.
Yes, you're correct. They're either affiliated with or part of techspot, i can't remember which.
 

1_rick

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Hmmm seems like LG is trying to hide something related to that monitor. I suggest you all stay far away from that thing!
The funny thing is they gave the 27" version of the same monitor a good review, and said in this video they recommend it.
 

1_rick

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Not sure there is a problem with them getting the draft.
By itself, there's not. The problem is when the company reviewing the draft objects to what they see, and try to convince or coerce the reviewer to change our drop the review, which we know happens.
 

cjcox

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LG has really really been ticking me off lately. Perhaps what they really want is for customer's to leave them alone... that is, by stop buying their products.

Happy to comply. I've seen many big companies die. Adding LG to that list.
 

Aurelius

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LG has really really been ticking me off lately. Perhaps what they really want is for customer's to leave them alone... that is, by stop buying their products.

Happy to comply. I've seen many big companies die. Adding LG to that list.
It's a shame if so, their displays and TVs are often great. My OLED set is still superb a few years on.
 

vegeta535

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Their monitor and non OLEDs are generally lack luster. Still a shitty move one LG part.
 
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HockeyJon

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Pretty good video. The only reviews i've ever read/watched were from [H] so I have no experience on others standards, does Hardware Unboxed have a good Reputation? (sounds like that might be the case)

Hope he does a follow up, I'd guess there is more to come from LG's side.

I watch them and Gamers Nexus now mostly for news and reviews.
 

sfsuphysics

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As much as I think this is scummy as hell from LG. I love my OLED and can never go back lol.
That's alright, LG's high end products tend to be pretty damn spectacular, their lower end stuff... yeah not so much. But LG is the Korean version of GE, they make some of everything not just displays.
 

HAL_404

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hmmm, LG ... South Korea ... is that why the US has 27,000 troops permanently stationed there? They don't pay to have those troops there so we ought to be getting a deep discount on those OLEDS, don't ya think?

ut oh, here comes the hatchet man :eek:
 

Nauseous

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Its happened twice to hardware unboxed... Makes me wonder if this is just accepted practices now and they got in an argument about price??? Maybe im over thinking this?
 

t1337duder

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This is status quo for the review industry in general. Revenue isn't generated out of thin air. Both parties are incentivized to play nice. Consumer thinks they are getting unbiased information on products. Reminds me of government.
 

Ranulfo

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Its happened twice to hardware unboxed... Makes me wonder if this is just accepted practices now and they got in an argument about price??? Maybe im over thinking this?

Linus on the wan show earlier tonight said they passed on reviewing the same monitor a couple of months ago because LG had similar conditions. Namely that LTT could only compare the monitor to other brands. Nothing about the embargo dates like HUB got though.
 

GoodBoy

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Take it with a grain of salt, the video.

Company wants features to be covered, I don't really see any issue with that.

Reviewer says "but we don't wanna!" Fine, I guess. They do have a market for the reviews as they do them.

But the Company does have a right to have some say in the review process if they are providing free product. Asking for features to be covered (as nVidia did), totally fine. Asking a bad review to be withheld, that's kinda iffy but doesn't equate to lying about a product. Asking results to be changed without good reason, obviously bad. A valid concern might be improper use or reviewer error, in which case the expectation is that the issue gets corrected, then the review released. But none of that is out of line.

The supposed "payment" can go either way, especially if you consider how some Youtubers make money. It's not uncommon for a channel to get $50,000 compensation for having a sponsor on a video. Did you hear that? $50,000. One video, sponsored. Think about how this plays in the minds of Youtube content creators. He didn't show the email (at least I didn't catch it) where compensation is offered, so we don't know for certain if it really happened, or assuming it did, what the amount was. They might have said "sorry we wasted your time working on this review that we don't want to be aired, here's $500 for your trouble." That to me isn't really a bribe, they might have been trying to keep the relationship with the content creator amenable if the creator felt their time was wasted. This is a real thought in the back of creators minds, especially if they can't air a video that might have had a paid sponsor (unrelated to the item reviewed). If they offered $10,000, then hell yes, that is bribe territory. But none of these specific details were provided. The majority of what I saw of the companies replies didn't really sound that bad, but the contact is obviously not a fluent English language speaker. Something being improperly conveyed, not out of the realm of possibility.

In any event, the review accepting "free product" for review, already makes the reviewer susceptible to bias, perhaps even unconsciously. But also allows the supplier to apply pressure. Ensuring an item is correctly reviewed, I think the supplier would be owed that to be fair. Supplier asking for a feature to be covered or even pointed out, fine. Supplier asking for comparison only to certain models, that sounded bullshitty, but it wasn't earth-shattering.. Not really sure why they would do that, its not like any old stock that is outperformed wouldn't still end up getting sold at some point anyway (guessing at possible reasons they would ask for that). The reviewer didn't want to comply (their prerogative), but all the supplier then did was say "can you just withhold the review?". Not really as big of a deal as he thinks, imho. The compensation offered for the time spent, until we know how much it was, to me doesn't have much weight.

***
Then, reviewer goes and makes a content piece like this. Pointing out impropriety, this is good. Making a bigger deal out of the issue than it was, well, that's just good content. Plays up to their viewers. The last time they made a video like that, it had 10x the number of views as their other videos average (go look), but I'm sure this one wasn't about that... Other Youtubers coming forward and making videos saying "this company has done this to us too", then I would say where there's smoke, there's fire, something fishy probably was going on. Other youtubers making a video about this reviewers video? Then it's more about the views, and monetizing the story. Point I am trying to make, is that everyone involved, on both sides, has a financial interest which can affect biases, judgments, and choices. If this reviewer wants to truly convince me that they are not under the influence of any company, then they need to start buying everything they review. If they have any sponsors on a video, needs to something completely unrelated so as not to appear as one company paying for a competitor to be badmouthed (So the Sponsor can be Dr Squatch which sells barsoap, i.e. something completely unrelated to PC displays). Being all shocked by the marketer having requests, and making a news story out of it, c'mon. It's their job to "advertise" products, and you are dealing with them to get free hardware.

Chances are, companies do step over the line, but if you are in marketing, successfully marketing a product is your job. Doesn't matter if the product is shit or not. You job is to sell it. That means reviews in front of a lot of consumers eyes, new features highlighted, or if it's a shit product, then you probably don't want any reviews. I don't see why anyone would find this behavior "unexpected", and really it's not even unethical for the marketer. The company succeeds or fails on it's products, so they will pay for it if they put out a shitty product.

The reviewer should be buying out of pocket, everything reviewed. Buying everything themselves, they can review without pressure. This is how all hardware should be reviewed. But it's not how it's done. Which means some amount of poking around by the equipment supplier is inevitable, even expected. Them acting like they can't necessarily afford to do that, feels like playing to their audience. Making something into a bigger deal than it was, also feels like playing to your audience. If they want to provide more details (or someone point it out if I missed it), I would immediately change my mind. Right now, I'm not convinced either way.
 
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alxlwson

You Know Where I Live
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Aug 25, 2013
Messages
7,973
Take it with a grain of salt, the video.

Company wants features to be covered, I don't really see any issue with that.

Reviewer says "but we don't wanna!" Fine, I guess. They do have a market for the reviews as they do them.

But the Company does have a right to have some say in the review process if they are providing free product. Asking for features to be covered (as nVidia did), totally fine. Asking a bad review to be withheld, that's kinda iffy but doesn't equate to lying about a product. Asking results to be changed without good reason, obviously bad. A valid concern might be improper use or reviewer error, in which case the expectation is that the issue gets corrected, then the review released. But none of that is out of line.

The supposed "payment" can go either way, especially if you consider how some Youtubers make money. It's not uncommon for a channel to get $50,000 compensation for having a sponsor on a video. Did you hear that? $50,000. One video, sponsored. Think about how this plays in the minds of Youtube content creators. He didn't show the email (at least I didn't catch it) where compensation is offered, so we don't know for certain if it really happened, or assuming it did, what the amount was. They might have said "sorry we wasted your time working on this review that we don't want to be aired, here's $500 for your trouble." That to me isn't really a bribe, they might have been trying to keep the relationship with the content creator amenable if the creator felt their time was wasted. This is a real thought in the back of creators minds, especially if they can't air a video that might have had a paid sponsor (unrelated to the item reviewed). If they offered $10,000, then hell yes, that is bribe territory. But none of these specific details were provided. The majority of what I saw of the companies replies didn't really sound that bad, but the contact is obviously not a fluent English language speaker. Something being improperly conveyed, not out of the realm of possibility.

In any event, the review accepting "free product" for review, already makes the reviewer susceptible to bias, perhaps even unconsciously. But also allows the supplier to apply pressure. Ensuring an item is correctly reviewed, I think the supplier would be owed that to be fair. Supplier asking for a feature to be covered or even pointed out, fine. Supplier asking for comparison only to certain models, that sounded bullshitty, but it wasn't earth-shattering.. Not really sure why they would do that, its not like any old stock that is outperformed wouldn't still end up getting sold at some point anyway (guessing at possible reasons they would ask for that). The reviewer didn't want to comply (their prerogative), but all the supplier then did was say "can you just withhold the review?". Not really as big of a deal as he thinks, imho. The compensation offered for the time spent, until we know how much it was, to me doesn't have much weight.

***
Then, reviewer goes and makes a content piece like this. Pointing out impropriety, this is good. Making a bigger deal out of the issue than it was, well, that's just good content. Plays up to their viewers. The last time they made a video like that, it had 10x the number of views as their other videos average (go look), but I'm sure this one wasn't about that... Other Youtubers coming forward and making videos saying "this company has done this to us too", then I would say where there's smoke, there's fire, something fishy probably was going on. Other youtubers making a video about this reviewers video? Then it's more about the views, and monetizing the story. Point I am trying to make, is that everyone involved, on both sides, has a financial interest which can affect biases, judgments, and choices. If this reviewer wants to truly convince me that they are not under the influence of any company, then they need to start buying everything they review. If they have any sponsors on a video, needs to something completely unrelated so as not to appear as one company paying for a competitor to be badmouthed (So the Sponsor can be Dr Squatch which sells barsoap, i.e. something completely unrelated to PC displays). Being all shocked by the marketer having requests, and making a news story out of it, c'mon. It's their job to "advertise" products, and you are dealing with them to get free hardware.

Chances are, companies do step over the line, but if you are in marketing, successfully marketing a product is your job. Doesn't matter if the product is shit or not. You job is to sell it. That means reviews in front of a lot of consumers eyes, new features highlighted, or if it's a shit product, then you probably don't want any reviews. I don't see why anyone would find this behavior "unexpected", and really it's not even unethical for the marketer. The company succeeds or fails on it's products, so they will pay for it if they put out a shitty product.

The reviewer should be buying out of pocket, everything reviewed. Buying everything themselves, they can review without pressure. This is how all hardware should be reviewed. But it's not how it's done. Which means some amount of poking around by the equipment supplier is inevitable, even expected. Them acting like they can't necessarily afford to do that, feels like playing to their audience. Making something into a bigger deal than it was, also feels like playing to your audience. If they want to provide more details (or someone point it out if I missed it), I would immediately change my mind. Right now, I'm not convinced either way.

Steve at GN will trash anything and everything, regardless of if it was a review sample or something they paid for themselves.
It all depends on how you build your brand. As I see it, HWUB and GN are the only reputable review outlets.
 

DejaWiz

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Apr 15, 2005
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Steve at GN will trash anything and everything, regardless of if it was a review sample or something they paid for themselves.
It all depends on how you build your brand. As I see it, HWUB and GN are the only reputable review outlets.

I dunno...The FPS Review is absolutely top-notch, and for good reason.

Not discounting HWUB and GN at all.
 

alxlwson

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Aug 25, 2013
Messages
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I dunno...The FPS Review is absolutely top-notch, and for good reason.

Not discounting HWUB and GN at all.

I like FPS Review, but they really need some help on grammar and structure. It's quite distracting to me for some reason.
 
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