Microsoft describes paid Xbox One promotion as “typical,” halts programme to clearly mark ad-supported videos

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Concerns were raised this week over a recently unveiled Xbox One promotion programme lead by Microsoft and media outlet Machinima in which video content producers were paid a higher advertising rate than normal for mentioning Xbox One, either positively or neutrally, in their videos.

Of course, this kind of promotion tactic can lead to video producers praising a given product without question while completely ignoring negative aspects that consumers might find unappealing, falsely influencing the opinions of viewers in the process.

Microsoft and Machinima have responded to these concerns in a statement, posted in full on The Verge, which describes the marketing partnership as “typical:”

“The Xbox team does not review any specific content or provide feedback on content,” the statement read, and while neither partner sought to make the promotion itself secret, “confidentiality relates to the agreements themselves, not the existence of the promotion.”

Microsoft has since issued another statement saying that the company has halted the marketing partnership and will work to clearly label videos included in the promotion as a paid-for advert:

“We have asked Machinima to not post any additional Xbox One content as part of this media buy,” wrote a Microsoft spokesperson, “and we have asked them to add disclaimers to the videos that were part of this program indicating they were part of paid advertising.”

What do you make of these events?

Do you think Microsoft and Machinima really thought the paid-for promotion was above board and “typical” or have the pair’s extended statements reveal that they’re trying to clear up any questionable business tactics?