Figure of Speech: Ethos, argument by character.
Once upon a time in this great marketocracy of ours, millions and millions of private conversations went tragically unmonetized. Then a visionary firm found a way to "organize and manage honest, real-world conversations between everyday consumers."
Boston-based BzzAgent uses 150,000 volunteers ("BzzAgents") who, in return for free products, agree to hype them. Although the firm depends on modern phenomena like the Internet and a shameless, greedy citizenry, the technique is thousands of years old. Aristotle called it Ethos, or appeal by character.
While we might wish that all arguments stuck to The Truth, a decision to buy something isn’t true or false, only potentially good or bad. That’s where Ethos comes in. If your pal likes the product, you’re more likely to as well.
But what if your pal likes the product just because she got it for free? You may have asked this question yourself. If so, you’re a Communist.