Consumers Union: Let's Measure Web Credibility

Consumers Union, long a trusted name in rating consumer products, has launched the "Web Credibility Project," which will try to measure how well websites disclose business relationships with the companies and products they cover or sell, especially when these relationships pose a potential conflict of interest. "Consider," explains the Wall Street Journal. "At first glance, ibreathe appears to be an independent health-information site, serving up advice about asthma, allergies and other respiratory ailments, but visitors have to scroll to the bottom of the page to learn that the site is operated by GlaxoSmithKline PLC. Consumers interested in asthma medications, for example, are provided with information on GlaxoSmithKline drugs. Another example offered by Consumers Union's Brendler is the Web site of Keep America Beautiful," which "looks like a grass-roots organization's Web outpost" when in reality KAB's corporate backers include "200 companies that manufacture aluminum cans, paper goods, glass bottles and plastics."



The Pew Charitable Trusts were established by the heirs of the Sun Oil (Sunoco) fortune. J. Howard Pew and it's current board is mostly made up of Pew family members. It's purpose is tax avoidance and increased personal profits for Pew family members and friends through manipulation of public opinion.

A premier source of credibility - down in it's financial luck since about 2000, Consumers Union. Aside from this recent grant for monitoring web "credibility", According to Active Cash, they've received over $6 million from Pew. Other sources on the web show much more. Pew friend Sharon L. Nelson is Consumer's Union's director.

Credibility is the cornerstone of PR. The Pew foundation has been a master of this art. It's frequently branded as "liberal" and "environmental" but when the bottom line detail is programs are studied the truth is seen.

A duck in a rain coat is still a duck.