WTF?! A YouTuber claims that MSI tried to prevent a negative review by paying them off. If true, this compromises the integrity of a company that in general makes some pretty good hardware and (from our experience) doesn't resort to this kind of behavior. It's unknown at this point if these actions were sanctioned by the company or are the work of a rogue PR employee.
Many of us rely on product reviews from trusted, independent sources to make informed purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, it seems that some manufacturers (or PR people) aren't willing to accept negative feedback. Tech YouTuber TechteamGB tweeted that MSI attempted to pay them so they wouldn't post a negative review of the MSI Bravo 15 laptop.
Prior to posting the review, I contacted MSI to see if they could confirm my findings. I held the review for weeks waiting for them to test a unit, but they didn't. Instead they offered to pay me to not post the review and tried to persuade me ("only you and me know you have it")— TechteamGB (@TechTeamGB) July 15, 2020
TechteamGB posted a video that pointed out numerous flaws of the Bravo 15 including an underwhelming display, poor thermals, and shoddy trackpad build quality. Before posting the review, he contacted MSI to confirm his findings. However, MSI insisted not to post the review and allegedly offered to pay him not to post it.
After posting the review, MSI asked TechteamGB to remove the word "disappointing" in the video title but was turned down. MSI apparently even asked AMD to take down the video (the laptop comes with a Ryzen 4000 series CPU). Fortunately, AMD sided with TechteamGB instead of MSI.
Just to clarify, AMD were on my side here. The PR rep had already written his reply saying it's a problem with the laptop, not the youtuber. He just called to let me know.— TechteamGB (@TechTeamGB) July 15, 2020
While neither AMD nor MSI have publicly responded to the allegations, prominent tech channels such as LinusTechTips and our own Steve's Hardware Unboxed have reached out to help.
This is very disappointing behavior from those companies who absolutely should (and do) know better. If you need further help (in addition to GN), please reach out because we don't tolerate this and you shouldn't have to either— Hardware Unboxed (@HardwareUnboxed) July 15, 2020
Me counting all the reasons this is not okay.— Linus Tech Tips (@LinusTech) July 15, 2020
Ur followed and our dm inbox is open if you need any help wtih this.
This doesn't match our experiences working with MSI, but I've always believed that the true measure of character is how someone treats the small guy.... - LS pic.twitter.com/lZoy7ur7hh
This situation is bad all around and a horrible look for a company that has ironically made some excellent gaming laptops. We'll update this story pending any statements from MSI or AMD. The "offending" video is below if you're interested.