Review site Yelp battles against extortion claims
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A small Italian restaurant fed up with the online review site Yelp recently launched a novel marketing campaign.
Instead of trying to get better reviews, the restaurant owners decided to take a different approach: get terrible ones.
The campaign helped Botte Bistro get a rating of one out of five stars, as more than 1,000 reviewers left hundreds of tongue-in-cheek reviews panning the Richmond, California, eatery, said chef Michele Massimo, adding that it boosted business.
It was the latest protest among businesses who for years have complained that Yelp was extorting them by raising or dropping ratings depending on whether they advertised with the Web's most popular review site.