Authorities are investigating Samsung for paying students to write negative reviews about rival phones from HTC.  Samsung is not the only company that has done this.  The difference is that it got caught.  Such underhanded spin tactics are part of the landscape of modern communications.   It is easier now to be exposed for pursuing them.  That, however, raises a question.  Should companies ever consider rival bashing under a cloak of anonymity?  From a PR perspective, the answer is no.  It is not only dishonest but with the transparency of the internet, an organization puts credibility and reputation at risk.  Even public bashing, the kind Microsoft is doing to Google, smacks of desperation.  One wonders if a company has so lost its edge that it must go hard at rivals.  Name calling is sophomoric.  Politicians do it all the time, but no one has accused them of honesty and intelligence.  One would hope a company could be different.

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