A news item richocheting around the Internet tells of a top p.r. executive of Accor Hotels (world's largest hotel chain) who has admitted to writing 100 fake reviews for submission to TripAdvisor, praising his own hotels and castigating his competitors. The news was revealed by a British p.r. firms called KwikChex, which has set for itself the task of defending hotels and hotel chains against false critical reviews in the so-called "user-generated" sites.
Would it be churlish of me to suggest that this development may be only the tip of the iceberg? There are hundreds of thousands of hotel executives and owners around the world. How many of them are also submitting scores of fake reviews, praising their hotels and damning their competitors? Ten thousand? Fifty thousand? A hundred (gulp!) thousand?