Here in Toronto, we've had Russell Oliver's schlocky ads shoved in our faces for decades. He's the guy who wants to buy your used jewellery, calls himself the Cashman or Loan Arranger, and works out of Oliver Jewellery on Eglinton Avenue West. We expect him to offer well below fair market value, because that's how these pawn shop-type businesses operate.
In the US, there's a company called Cash 4 Gold who recently made a splash with an ad during the Super Bowl. A blogger wrote about someone's bad experience with Cash 4 Gold and that negative review started to rank very highly when people Googled Cash4Gold or Cash 4 Gold. This, as you can imagine, concerned the pr folks at Cash 4 Gold.
They actually tried to pay the blogger to remove the highly ranking entry or edit it so it ranked lower or wasn't as negative. Others with highly ranking negative articles took the few thousand dollars and changed the web page. This particular blogger at cockeyed.com didn't play along.
I can relate to this story, because I happen to rank very highly for a brand name and my highly ranking entry is completely negative. Try Googling for Prima TV or Prima Television. #1 with a bullet is My Prima Television Nightmare. As you can tell from the title, it's not a rave review, and 375 comments back up my claims.
The gang at Prima is well aware of my entry, as you can imagine. I've caught them writing phony positive comments, I've had emails from the boss over there and dozens of unhappy Prima customers have used my entry when negotiating with Prima or the outlet that sold them their faulty Prima.
Prima has never offered me money to take my page off line the way Cash 4 Gold does. I'm betting it's not because Prima has too much integrity, but more likely because they don't care about their reputation. As a recent commenter pointed out, even their on-line support page has been broken for weeks.