Negative reviews can be good for business

That's the title of my Slaw post for today.  It reads as follows. We've all heard the saying "there is no such thing as bad publicity" - but of course we don't take that literally. 

Apparently, though, research has shown that when it comes to online reviews, negative reviews can result in more sales than positive reviews.

That was one of the points made by Mitch Joel during his keynote address on Monday at Fanshawe College's eMarketing conference.  (I spoke at one of the breakout sessions on "Digital Law".)

He says there are two reasons for that.   First, people tend to trust the business more as they feel the business is being open and candid.  Second, what is important in a negative review is what is actually said.  The reviewer's reason may be irrelevant to other buyers.  

That's not to say its a good thing if every review trashes the product - but a few negative reviews don't seem to hurt.

Many of us have had clients complain about negative online comments about them that they don't feel are justified, and reputation management is a growing field.

The message here is that when lawyers are asked to advise on these issues, we need to understand this in order to give the right advice, and to avoid the Streisand effect.