Are PC Advisor articles Sponsered

  StupiderFool 19:11 19 Jun 2012

Just read the item in the current PCA on using PC Tools utility to "tune" windows. It's been a while since I saw what seems to me a thinly disguised advert for a piece of proprietary software purporting to be advice. I've seen in other mags some testing on a variety of these types of tools and the general conclusion was that they don't make much difference, and registry cleaners can even break systems. Added to that there are perfectly good free alternatives, none of which get a mention other than a gesture in the article that other suites exist, whilst there are repeated references to this suite. The article would have been far more credible if it included some actual before and after benchmark tests, and I wonder why a magazine such as this failed to provide this

  Forum Editor 19:15 19 Jun 2012

"Are PC Advisor articles Sponsered"

No, there's no sponsorship involved - what would be the point?

  WhiteTruckMan 19:37 19 Jun 2012

No, there's no sponsorship involved - what would be the point?

Raising money, perhaps?


  StupiderFool 19:39 19 Jun 2012

I guessed you would say that - so please answer the specific points as to why one proprietary piece of software is so heavily promoted with no objective justification of its performance

  StupiderFool 19:53 19 Jun 2012

What is also so hilarious about this is that PCA's own review by Simon Williams on May 3rd stated ".... the performance improvements we measured were marginal. The company claims faster start-up and shutdown times, but we saw little difference. Duplicate file removal is hardly a must-have, with storage costs so low, so it's hard to see where the value comes from in this suite."

Yet a few months later you're promoting it as a worthwhile tool

  ams4127 22:41 19 Jun 2012

Ho, Hum!!

  lotvic 00:20 20 Jun 2012

There are many Reviews of Free programs. Here's one of them, free Registry Cleaner

  spuds 00:54 20 Jun 2012

Adverts bring in revenue, and so does linking to pages if set-up to do so.

Reviews all depend on the reviewer and a possible remit as to whether its an opinion or something with independent benchmarking. Some reviews can show favouritism to some companies, or would appear to do so, based on who wants to supply the items for review and those that do not.

At the end of the day, its for the person reading the review, if they want to consult other reviews on the same item, or just make a purchase. Personally I would not be really bothered if an item was 'sponsered', because it would be my own choice, and not some possible marketing hype or venture that would close a sale.

  morddwyd 05:46 20 Jun 2012

"What is also so hilarious about this......."

I must have lost my sense of humour.

I didn't find it remotely amusing!

  HondaMan 08:23 20 Jun 2012

Nor me and I don't remember seeing StupiderFool here before.

Is he a new member; someone using another screen name; a troll or just someone having a pop at FE again over advertising?

  Matt Egan 08:54 20 Jun 2012

Okay, let's respond to those points:

'Are PC Advisor articles Sponsered [sic]' On occasion, some are. You can tell which they are because there will be a prominent note saying 'sponsored by XXXX'. It's not something I personally love doing, but only because they can be a bit of a pain to write, but often sponsored content is perfectly valid and informative: as long as it is clear to the audience what is going on.

We are, as as often been discussed on these forums, an ad-supported website, but not one in the business of deceiving our audience. This is not because we are good guys (although FE and I really, really are), it's because any site like PC Advisor that takes its readers for granted would be dead within six months. We've been here for many years, and we intend to stick around. So yes, we do publish sponsored content, we clearly mark it as such, and the article in question is not such a story.

In answer to StupiderFool's futher point about that particular piece being exclusively about PC Tools Performance Toolkit, without wishing to throw daylight on magic, we asked lots of software providers if they wanted to be part of a tutorial about using optimisation software, and Symantec's PR was the most keen, and able to deliver the software to match our deadline. We would have liked to have include other tools in the same piece, but time was against us on this occasion, and PC Tools got a lucky break.

However, it's interesting that you noticed our review, too, because they were both written at the same time, albeit by different editors (Simon Williams is our specialist tester of security and optimisation tools). You see that as 'hilarious' because you think there is something corrupt about the tutorial piece. Which is a shame. Simon's (and therefore PC Advisor's) objective, benchmarked view of this software is that it doesn't really work as advertised, and that's what we have published. For the record, PC Tools is an occasional advertiser, but we are beholden to no one for the reasons outlined above.

I still think there's value in the tutorial, although I take your wider point that telling people how to use optimisation software isn't much cop if the software itself doesn't work. Our view is that people are interested in these tools, so it is our job to explain how to use them to best advantage.

My personal view is that disk optimisation software is a waste of time (this is borne out by several tests I have done). But I'm not an expert, and I work with experts, so I will trust their judgements. You should too!

Here's the original story of which StupiderFool is critical:

Here's Simon's review:

And here, for interest, is a piece in which we tested loads of optimisation tools. It's interesting reading:


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