Film critics are grumbling about Disney’s decision to use blogger comments–rather than official reviews–in ads for its latest film, the UK release The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. The studio lifted online plaudits like “Simply stunning” from IMDb.com, reports Telegraph, in a move that some professional critics view as a preemptive strike by the studio’s marketing department, which may have feared negative reviews and decided to use existing blogger praise for blurbs instead. Then there’s the question of accountability: Who’s to say that the quoted praise, which is all but anonymous when submitted by Theedge-4 or Pete63, wasn’t written by a producer or actor from the film?
Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine ridicules the controversy: “How dare a movie studio quote the people who actually buy the tickets and watch the movies? How dare they give respect to the audience?” It’s difficult to say how much influence these blurbs have over potential moviegoers, but those who oppose Disney’s decision have common sense on their side. The average person is probably more inclined to believe a full review from an established voice like the New York Times‘ A.O. Scott than a sound-bite accolade from an unknown entity like the Disney-quoted blogger Mjavfc1.