In a deal that may set a precedent for truth in movie advertising, Sony Pictures has signed an agreement with the state of Oregon pledging to never again use fabricated review quotes.
Two Sony executives were suspended for a month earlier this year after it was revealed they made up film critic “David Manning” to market films that included “Vertical Limit,” “Hollow Man,” and “A Knight’s Tale.”
According to the pact signed Monday, Sony will have to pay a $25,000 fine for each victim of marketing fraud if it ever uses fabricated review quotes or advertising in which its own employees tout a film without revealing they work for Sony. The “victims” could be everyone in Oregon who pays to see a movie advertised in such a manner.
“It’s a basic violation of our consumer protection laws and we thought, they have really gone over the line on this one,” Jan Margosian, a spokeswoman for the state attorney general’s office told the Associated Press. “They always use puffery, but to fabricate somebody — that’s going too far.”