Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Taking the good with the bad...

I've enjoyed browsing the app store over the last few weeks. I teach mass communication courses (PR, Advertising, Introduction to Mass Communication, etc.) and have been encouraged by several I've found, specifically:

1. Coyne Hot Sheet - a sampling of hot-off-the-presses PR campaigns that could serve as case studies for discussion. Direct Marketing News also has an app that could be used for a similar purpose.

2. Terminology - a writing app that claims to help anyone from a novelist to an advertising exec find just the right word. I can envision it being useful for in-class writing projects. This is the first app I paid for - it was $2.99.

3. Popplet (I downloaded the free "lite" version) - it creates a series of what I perceive to be thought bubbles/a brainstorming web. It might be also be useful to create video advertising story boards.

But then I ran across something rather disturbing...Marketing and Advertising Essays.

Here's the description:

Give yourself the edge with 1000++ Professional Marketing & Advertising Essays and Assignments.

Are you studying Marketing & Advertising? Struggling with a Marketing & Advertising essay? You've come to the right place. We've included Marketing & Advertising essays on this application to help.

What you really need, however, is an original, fresh answer to your Marketing & Advertising essay question, written just for you. That's exactly what we provide - and your answer is written by a certified professional.

We have writers who have undergraduate and masters qualifications in Marketing & Advertising, and who are experts in your subject. Many work in the Marketing & Advertising sector and so have both the practical experience and also theoretical knowledge, the work they produce is as you would expect to the highest standards (I'm typing this verbatim - grammatical issues and all). The essays provided on this application are special for you.

End of description.

It was free so I went ahead and downloaded it to see if it was worth being concerned about. It is. The pre-written essays run about $30 a piece from what I can tell (50% off - what a deal!), and they offer the ability to preview portions before you buy. The few I read aren't perfect, but I wouldn't expect a freshman essay on the 4 Ps of marketing to be flawless. I didn't dig deep enough to see how much the essays written "special for you" are.

I was aware of paper writing services, but it hadn't occurred to me that there would be an app for that. :( Perhaps I'm just being naive though.

Is there a way to report something like this to Apple?

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