Saturday, 31 October 2015

Highland Titles An Opinion By Val McDermid Famous Scottish Crime Writer

Earlier in October, a puff piece appeared on a website extolling the virtues of Highland Titles. Reading it and seeing the style of the guff and nonsense presented, you'd be forgiven for thinking Highland Titles might have written it themselves. Of course being 'editorial content', the misleading bits, and they are many, are outside of the Advertising Standards Authority remit.

Anyway, one of the comments on that piece praising the HT conservation effort to the gods was supposedly posted by a Val McDermid, an extremely uncommon name. Who is Val McDermid? She is a very well know Scottish author, famous for her crime works. The trouble is, it wasn't actually Val who posted the comment.

The Comment

Stevie G pointed the comment out to the real Val McDermid on twitter. Val immediately identified the comment author as a sock puppet,

Val Identifies Comment Author As a Sock Puppet

Stevie G then asked Val via twitter if she was promoting Highland Titles or not. As we can see below, she's didn't mince her words!

Val McDermid Gives Her Opinion On Highland Titles

Val's Twitter post archived here for posterity

So in the words of Val McDermid, one of the biggest names in crime writing, in her opinion Highland Titles are, "Charlatans and scammers". We agree wholeheartedly Val. Oh Val, should Highland Titles threaten any legal action, we have a boat load of very solid evidence which would certainly more than adequately back up your statement.

Some people may be inclined towards an opinion that Highland Titles might possibly have posted that comment (or indeed several comments) themselves. Our legal advice is that it might not be advisable to say that without 'no reasonable doubt' evidence, so we'll leave it at that. What we do know and are entirely happy to say, is that Highland Titles have used fake newspaper articles in their marketing materials in the past, with fake quotations from Rob Gibson MSP.

We'd advise that taking much notice of comments made by a sock puppet using the name of a well known figure, might not be the best idea ever. We'd also advise taking glowing comments made about Highland Titles in such places with a serious amount of skepticism about both their origin and accuracy.


  1. The web is awash with this kind of nonsense. Look at the recent comment from 'Nature of Scotland Awards' here:

    What are the odds of an RSPB awards panel genuinely posting 'We wish Highland Titles well and confidently predict another successful year for them in the 2015 Nature of Scotland Awards' as a comment on (of all places)?

    Seems somebody doesn't give two hoots about impersonating people and organizations nor care how implausible it looks.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out, very unlikely the RSPB (or anybody else with a reputation they value) would post anything there.

      In fact the RSPB have now confirmed via Twitter that it was not them who posted the comment, therefore the comment was indeed made by a sock puppet.