By The Malketeer

In the cutthroat world of marketing, where businesses vie for consumer attention and positive reviews, an ongoing clash between two major players in Malaysia’s used car industry has brought to light the ethical dilemmas surrounding incentivised reviews.

Scathing Open Letter Sheds Light

myTukar, a prominent name in the industry, has issued a scathing open letter to its competitor, Carsome, condemning the practice of encouraging users to provide 5-star reviews in exchange for a chance to win lucrative prizes.

The core of myTukar’s critique revolves around Carsome’s latest campaign, enticing users to post 5-star reviews with the promise of winning prizes totaling RM60,000, including the much-coveted iPhone 15 Pro.

Such tactics, myTukar argues, not only violate Google’s User Contributed Content Policy but also undermine the credibility of user reviews, which are meant to serve as a reliable resource for consumers making informed purchasing decisions.

Google, the search engine giant, explicitly prohibits deceptive content and behaviour, categorising promotions that encourage fake engagement as a violation of their policies.

Such reviews, as per Google’s guidelines, will be removed to ensure the authenticity and trustworthiness of the information available to consumers.

The Dangers of Biased Reviews

In their open letter, myTukar highlights the significance of user-contributed reviews as a valuable tool for consumers seeking insights into a business’s quality, service standards, and overall reputation.

By perusing these reviews, potential buyers can make well-informed decisions tailored to their needs, relying on the experiences of prior customers shared in an unbiased manner.

myTukar argues that Carsome’s incentivised 5-star reviews not only compromise the integrity of the reviewing system but also create an unfair advantage in the market. Offering prizes and discounts in exchange for positive reviews, myTukarcontends, is not only unethical but also fraudulent, as it manipulates the perception of a business without regard for the actual quality of its services.

Carsome, however, is not the sole target of myTukar’s criticism.

Learning from the Past, Embracing Transparency

The open letter reveals that myTukar acknowledges its own past missteps, specifically a campaign from 2020 where similar tactics were employed. The company, to its credit, does not shy away from admitting its mistake, attributing the unethical practices to a previous marketing team that has since been replaced.

In response to accusations of hypocrisy, myTukar emphasises the importance of focusing on current issues rather than dwelling on past mistakes. The company asserts that it has taken significant steps to rectify its previous missteps and align its practices with ethical standards.

The Voice of the Public

The open letter has sparked a public debate, with voices on both sides offering their perspectives.

Yumikoo Loveyou suggests that the criticism may be driven by jealousy and encourages a positive approach, emphasising the importance of superior service and innovation.

Meanwhile, Mohd Yaman Idris shares his personal experience, selling his car to myTukar for one reason and buying a car from Carsome for another, recognisingthe strengths of both platforms.

Ting T Chan, on the other hand, points out a potential flaw in myTukar’s after-sale services, reminding the audience that ethical concerns should extend beyond marketing strategies to encompass the overall customer experience.

The Call for Ethical Marketing Practices

This ongoing online war between myTukar and Carsome underscores the need for a fair and transparent marketing environment in the used car industry.

In a market where trust is paramount, unethical practices not only erode the credibility of individual businesses but also cast a shadow of mistrust across the entire industry.

The crux of the matter is clear: biased reviews, driven by the allure of prizes and incentives, can have long-lasting repercussions. They not only mislead consumers but also create an environment where businesses are judged not by the quality of their services but by the amount of money and prizes, they offer.

myTukar’s open letter serves as a powerful call to action for businesses in the marketing industry to prioritise ethics and fair play.

The importance of maintaining transparency, fostering trust, and delivering exceptional services should take precedence over short-term gains achieved through questionable practices.

The industry’s reputation and, more importantly, the trust of consumers are at stake, and it’s time for a collective commitment to uphold ethical standards and ensure a level playing field for all.

The true winners in this battle will not be determined by the number of prizes offered but by the commitment to providing genuine services, fostering trust, and maintaining a level playing field for all stakeholders in the used car industry.

MARKETING Magazine is not responsible for the content of external sites.

The Malaysian Marketing Conference & Festival 2024 at the Sime Darby Convention Centre is a TWO-day marketing event for all those in Marketing, Media, Advertising, PR, Digital, Data, and more….

The experience is on May 15 & 16, with Keynote Speakers, multiple tracks or Breakaway Sessions hosted by our booth partners who will show you the latest in the industry. 

Download Event PDF
Register Here

Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates in the marketing and advertising scene