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Mattress company suing mattress review sites for not recommending them...

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by freckletone, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. freckletone

    freckletone Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Have you guys heard of this?

    Three mattress review sites (Amazon niche sites) got sued by Casper (a matress company that is backed up by some celebs including Ashton Kutcher) for recommending other brands over Casper.

    Casper claims that the affiliate marketers are getting paid by the other brands to promote them and hurting their business.

    These are all huge authority sites btw with massive traffic. One of the mattress sites wrote a blog post about the lawsuit (not sure if I should post it here as I don't want to out his site) but it's really interesting as I actually came across this while looking at keywords and backlinks for the mattress niche. Holy crap btw; it's a competitive niche.

    Just an excerpt:

    According to the court, Mitcham has direct affiliate marketing relationships with Casper’s competitors but not with Casper, meaning that Mitcham collects sales commissions from those competitors when his readers purchase products through affiliate links on his website or with coupon codes that he provides. Casper alleged that Mitcham’s reviews of the Casper mattress repeatedly recommend Casper’s competitors over Casper and contain affiliate links to various of Casper’s competitors’ products, along with an Amazon.com link to Casper’s product, but that in his “Disclaimer” at the bottom of the review Mitcham groups his relationships with everyone together, stating that “[t]his article includes ‘affiliate links,’ meaning that I’d get paid a commission if you purchased anything from them.” Casper alleged that Mitcham’s statements suggesting that Mitcham has the same financial interest in sales of Casper products as he does in sales of competitors’ products caused Casper lost sales and diminished its goodwill in the marketplace.

    Mitcham filed a motion to dismiss the false advertising claim brought by Casper, but the motion was denied in part. The court reasoned that Mitcham’s “Disclaimer” plausibly materially misleads consumers by directly suggesting that Mitcham has the same pecuniary interest in pushing sales of Casper that he does in pushing sales of each of the other mattress companies mentioned in the review. The court also reasoned that given that the reviews recommend Casper’s competitors’ mattresses over Casper’s mattresses, it is perfectly plausible that the alleged deception caused consumers to withhold trade from Casper, such that Casper suffered economic or reputational injury flowing directly from the alleged deception. Mitcham argued that the false advertising claim should fail because Mitcham does not directly compete with Casper, but the court stated that such an argument is foreclosed byLexmark, which explained that a direct-competition requirement is not required for a false advertising cause of action.

    https://www.iplitigationcurrent.com/2016/09/27/false-advertising-liability-for-affiliate-marketing/

    http://www.corpcounsel.com/id=1202760820267/Mattress-Maker-Losing-Sleep-Over-Website-Reviews
     
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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  2. RuthSam

    RuthSam Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Sometimes I belive people have nothing better to do!
     
  3. blogzandstuff

    blogzandstuff Elite Member

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    I can understand why they are annoyed, bit underhand
     
  4. theguysaccount

    theguysaccount Junior Member

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    Title puts them in a bad light but really it is a corrupt business model. Paid favoring shouldnt be a thing
     
  5. freckletone

    freckletone Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I don't think the sites are paid to recommend brands specifically; they promote Amazon.

    I think one of the sites said he also get paid for selling Casper via Amazon but he just don't recommend it as the number one choice because they felt there are better alternatives.

    He didn't say it was bad or write anything negative; he just recommended other brands he thought was a better value.
     
  6. Sherbert Hoover

    Sherbert Hoover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    I don't even give a shit. Casper makes incredible products.
     
  7. blogzandstuff

    blogzandstuff Elite Member

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    And he's a friendly ghost!
     
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  8. judaculla

    judaculla Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    That's scaaarry.

    Hopefully that shit gets blown out of the water setting a very friendly precedent.

    I would imagine that article/review came about through inspected keyword research, and while googling Casper mattress, the first ad that appeared was '
    "Do Not Buy That Mattress" - Learn the Truth, Why Over-Pay?‎'

    Haha, they'll probably be suing them too.

    The best move by them would to just realize the benefits of an affiliate program, establish an enticing one, and have given a courtesy email to that reviewer. People are so idealistic when doing business when there is almost always a better practical option.

     
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  9. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I found this on the first page when searching for Casper mattress:

    http://www.sleeplikethedead.com/mattress-reviews-casper.html

    So I guess they'll be suing them too.

    In fact, let's sue everyone everywhere for running a business, bc they all affect the way I make money. No one can run a business but me.

    This is so juvenile.
     
  10. JustUs

    JustUs Power Member

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    Gee, Walmart will not support my brand. I will sue them and make them.
    Gee, Target will not support my brand. I will sue them and make them.

    I hate it when the toilet paper gets stuck between my butt cheeks when I wipe after taking a crap. I think I will start a law suit against the Toilet Paper company.

    I see the mattress lawsuit having about as much merit as the above. If Casper wants a contract with the website, they could probably pay for it. Instead they want free advertising. I think that maybe Casper should get some negative advertising about how terrible their mattresses are.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  11. LuckyCharm007

    LuckyCharm007 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  12. JustUs

    JustUs Power Member

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    As part of my business I have pesticide and agricultural licenses. My clients know that I am licensed to exterminate, not only lawn and garden pests, but household interior pests as wall. One of the most invasive and problematic household pests are bed bugs. Across the nation, and indeed across the world, the incidence of bed bugs is increasing. No one is certain why the incidence of bed bug infestation is increasing, but it is believed that overuse of some pesticides may be one of the reasons. It is also believed that certain manufacturing methods contribute to insecticide resistance. While all mattresses may contain bedbugs in an infested home, it appears that bedbugs find harborage in Casper mattresses more frequently than other mattress brands. It may be that the manufacture of Casper mattresses contributes to an increase in Carbon Dioxide and pheromones that attract bedbugs.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  13. nishanknx

    nishanknx Registered Member

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    The things people do lol
     
  14. freckletone

    freckletone Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  15. JamaicanMoose

    JamaicanMoose Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Aren't they suing the guy because he changed the rating on his review to be lower than competitors after Casper changed their commission structure? That would mean that his reviews aren't actually unbiased. There's absolutely no reason for him to drop the rating on the mattress when it had been #1 for so long. It's particularly suspect that the rating changed at the exact time that Casper's commission structure changed.
     
  16. Non_Biased

    Non_Biased Newbie

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    Yea this is where I learned it from but I didn't want to out their site on here.

    The sites that got hit have that disclaimer like super huge "we get paid from affilliate links" etc... not in the footer as most amazon affiliates but huge now on every page... lol[/QUOTE]

    This thread shows up pretty high in a Casper bought Sleepopolis Google search so I had to bump this up as Sleepopolis sold the company to CASPER, the company that was suing them. Casper was complaining that Sleepopolis was steering sales away from Casper and to other companies. The solution, file a lawsuit and then buy the company! I have more details on my site nonbiasedreviews dot com. It's a funny lesson on free speech.
     
  17. Non_Biased

    Non_Biased Newbie

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    This thread shows up pretty high in a Casper bought Sleepopolis Google search so I had to bump this up as Sleepopolis sold the company to CASPER, the company that was suing them. Casper was complaining that Sleepopolis was steering sales away from Casper and to other companies. The solution, file a lawsuit and then buy the company! I have more details on my site nonbiasedreviews dot com. It's a funny lesson on free speech.
     
  18. staypositive

    staypositive Power Member

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    why not use the lawyer fee to pay for the affiliate market or people like us ( :D ) and get more business... haahha
     
  19. Non_Biased

    Non_Biased Newbie

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    Seriously staypositive is on to something. How much do you think the Lawyers made on each side? Had to be in the Millions right?
     
  20. SensualTyrannosaurus

    SensualTyrannosaurus Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I'm going to go inspect my Casper mattress immediately for bedbugs! Are there any sites that recommend something better?
     
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