Kansas City mayor spams Amazon reviews in bid for headquarters

Nothing smells of desperation more than spamming Amazon with thousands of potentially "fake" reviews.

Screenshot via Facebook

The mayor of Kansas City has been busy shopping, awarding five-star reviews for 1,000 Amazon products in a desperate bid to secure the retail giant's second headquarters.

Perhaps in order to trump Stonecrest city council's bid to woo Amazon by offering to rename the town to Amazon should the company choose the Georgia area for the new building, Kansas Mayor Sly James' gleeful shopping spree has certainly attracted attention.

No doubt wallowing in happiness surrounded by his horse bags, diapers, baby oil, and sharpies -- the mind boggles -- the city official has been satisfied with his products to the point that sheer joy has dictated every product purchased has earned a five-star public review.

"10/10 would recommend this horse bag from OrrinSports," the major gushes. "I bought one for myself and one for all the art students in Kansas City, which ranks third-most in participation per capita in the country."

"I may be a grown man, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the way Johnson's gentle cleanse formula pampers my delicate skin," the mayor said on another five-star review. "If it soothes a mayor, imagine how well it'll soothe a little baby. In fact, my city knows a thing or two about taking care of little babies."

Naturally, each review -- listed on its own domain as well as Amazon -- mentions Kansas City, and it's hard not to poke fun at this interesting tactic.

Each product is going to charity, but you have to wonder whether the reviews would be considered "fake" or not, which breaks Amazon's terms of service.

That's not to suggest the mayor hasn't enjoyed his dog biscuits, cat pans, or Disney's Frozen dress, but it doesn't necessarily help the problem of shady reviews on the website at all, nor does it set an example as reviews fly in thick and fast from one person in a very short space of time.

It would be interesting to see how Amazon takes this promotional push for Kansas, especially as the company has asked for incentives such a nearby international airport, a business-friendly environment and grants to be chosen for the $5 billion project -- rather than gushing reviews over baby oil.

ZDNet has reached out to Amazon and will update if we hear back.

Previous and related coverage

Couple charged with swindling Amazon out of $1.2 million in electronics

Amazon was hoodwinked due to elaborate mail fraud.

Georgia city offers to rename itself Amazon to secure headquarters bid

The smell of desperation is in the air.

Amazon to develop a smart doorbell to deliver packages inside your home

Will "porch pirates" one day be a thing of the past?