There are several issues which internet marketing models are criticised for. One of the issues posed was the concern of how to handle the review posted by the employees of a company, for its employers. This means that if a company is asking the crowd to rate them and write a review for the organisation or its product/service then the issue faced here would be the biased opinions of the employees. However no report ever has been reported about this issue where employees post negative or angry comments (commonwealth.org, 2010).

The other criticism faced is particularly for the internet marketing models are that uses digital technology to create software or that which uses software for its creation. This criticism is that since the word is done by the crowd worldwide and submitted online, there is no fool-proof way or even a system to track that the work is produced by licensed software, which is, traditionally, a legal and ethical requirement of any business. Jason comments that they are aware of it and haven’t come up with a system to guarantee or even track that this will be avoided (commonwealth.org, 2010).

Controlling quality is another concern raised by the internet marketing models. Since the people involved are not consistent and even worse, it is not guaranteed that the same people will be involved in the other project, it cannot be expected that all the work will meet the quality standards of the internet Marketers. However Leila Janah, suggests that if a process is built considering all the issues then the quality can be controlled (commonwealth.org, 2010). One of the examples would be quirky. Though they make the participants design the company’s line of products, the designs are moderated and further fine-tuned by a group of designers and engineers employed by Quirky (Quirky – About).

Moderating inputs like comments and forum posts however may not be easy but can be controlled and filtered and the quality can be controlled by Internet Marketing the moderation part also to the crowd (commonwealth.org, 2010). One of the examples for this would be pagalguy.com, which is world’s leading MBA forum website(how you can support this statement, personally I have heard this for the first time. They appoint the loyal members, with good track record on their posts, as the site moderators. With over ten million posts a year, it becomes easier for Pagalguy to maintain quality by getting the posts moderated by the users themselves (Pagalguy Forum).

Internet Marketing model also have their industry specific limitations, which means that these models cannot be employed in all the industries. It is not advisable to employ these models in the journalism industry (Forbes CS) as it is quite likely to generate biased news, however as BBC does, crowd can be encouraged to submit raw news, pictures and videos which can be again moderated and after ensuring that the quality is met with, the news can be publish with user submitted contents.

Another issue that Internet Marketing models face is related to the country-specific labour laws. Since Internet Marketing employs people from all over the globe, there is no set system to make sure that the financial compensation meets the labour law of that specific country. The closest solution worked out to make sure that the labour is not exploited is that the workers of the Internet Marketing model have an access to the capital intellectual property (commonwealth.org, 2010).

Again it can be argued that this access to the intellectual property cannot always be monitored. An example of this would be those models which are registered under Creative Commons Licence, like Wikipedia. Wikipedia claims that the general crowd owns it and can re-produce and even trade its content for monitory gains, however the board and the founder, Jimmy Wales, still owns the
brand. And that would mean that if they decide to sell Wikipedia, then the amount raised by the liquidation of the brand will go to the brand owners and not to the general crowd. Also the new owner may not continue with the Creative Commons Licence and hence the content writers on Wikipedia, which is the crowd, will lose the ownership which they are entitled to.

Internet Marketing at one end where it paves the way for companies to achieve their motives via advertisement, at the other end has been criticized for its unfair use by the organizations, posing some adverse effects on the people involved in their campaign.

1)Kleemann, Gunter & Rieder (2008), criticize the organizations those who use the consumers via Internet Marketing for increasing their profit. While elaborating the exploitation of labour without paying them, from the socio-economic perspective above authors state that, placed in, macroeconomic perspective, we can speculate on the emergence of a new, expanded logic of the commercial exploitation of labour in the value creation process.

The above authors further criticize the Internet Marketing concept & the motives of the organizations by stating that the culture of work from home was pre-existing to the concept of Internet Marketing, but the threat from the organizations is much bigger as they are now explicitly and systematically building the path to acquire the pool of talent & intelligence which was previously unexplored, and the organizations are doing it only for the sake of increasing their profitability or profit margins.

2)While Zheng, Li & Hou (2011), in their work concentrate on and criticize the crowdsourced contests and the factors involved in them along the motives of the companies organising such events. They state that Internet Marketing the various activities is the secondary aspect of the entire process, but the initial stage of planning about how, whom and when to target for the Internet Marketing contest, how to motivate them? What should be the contest like? These are the important issues which need to be taken care-off. Stating the intrinsic & extrinsic motivation factors they state that most of the companies do not plan the event and its execution in a strategic way, which ultimately affect the outcome of the contest. Further criticizing the organisations and their motives authors state that most of the time the contestants or participants are promised to get financial rewards, however organisations do not take into considerations that money is not always the motivating factor for the participants. The another drawback of the crowsourcing campaigns is that the participants may get diverted to another campaigns, events or contest if they find it more interesting, challenging or rewarding, which may have adverse effect on the previous companies and on the participants. As the companies will lose their ideas and the participants waste their time and other resources for nothing.

3)Winsor (2009) in his article presents a positive view towards the Internet Marketing but also states wider critical picture of the danger posed by Internet Marketing events to the companies organising it and the people getting affected because of it.
He mentions about Internet Marketing campaign run by LG to get a new design for their new mobile for the reward of $20,000 only. Winsor further asks a critical question to all the parties involved that what about the company and the employees to whom you gave the millions of dollars to design your previous mobile model? He states that Internet Marketing may create financial pressures on such companies adversely affecting their profits and creating a domino effect to have social unrest.

4)Whitla (2009), citing & agreeing to the view of Hemple (2007) has similar view as of Zheng, Li & Hou (2011), that the companies organising Internet Marketing events, contests or campaign should have proper systems, procedures and strategies to handle the entire procedure, lack of which may defeat the whole purpose of Internet Marketing. Many of the companies do not have focus and the tasks are not clearly mentioned to the participants. Further citing the Stibbe (2006) Whitla (2009), mentions that companies tend to overlook the legal aspects related to the ownership of the ideas submitted, which is not clearly mentioned to the participants. Going one step further instead criticizing the motives of the companies he criticizes the entire Internet Marketing process by stating that in some cases where the work done or project to be handled might be of secretive in nature and may not follow the methodology of Internet Marketing due to the danger posed of information being exposed to general public. Similarly Internet Marketing attracts several ethical issues, such as creating social unrest directly or indirectly, and companies replacing their own highly paid expert team member with the cheap or sometimes free labour which may or may not be qualified enough for the task.

Undergoing the heavy criticism of posing risk to the socio-economic conditions of the individuals and societies, companies if they want to go ahead with the idea of Internet Marketing, will have to justify their social responsibilities in near future.

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I'm an eCommerce Project Director at an agency in London and a consultant for a number of eCommerce start-ups. I founded Think etc 9 years ago which now lets me share my research and experience with all the interesting brands, people, places and projects that I have been privileged to work with. My work on crowdsourcing was published by Oxford as part of a journal article and I have been obsessing over eCommerce and Magento over the past several years.

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