I just want to say that I really don't think WOM is bad in itself. When I went to a restaurant and I loved their food, I told my coworkers to go there. Then they went there and they loved the food, and they told their friends. I did not get any benefit out of this, but I was happy doing it because I loved the food, I loved to share my good experience, and I loved to see the restaurant getting more business so they will stay in business for me to go back to. On the other hand, when I had a bad experience at an auto body shop, I told everyone I know about my experience and warned them not to go there. I didn't get rewarded for doing that either, but as a friend, I felt that I needed to let them know about poor quality and workmanship, because I don't want them to go through the same heartache. WOM marketing happens naturally in daily lives. You may not recognize it, but you probably have done it at least once in your lifetime, if you ever reviewed or discussed a product or an establishment.
Now back to the heated discussions about BzzAgent... BzzAgent is just a company that utilizes this strategy to help their clients promote. The difference is, of course, the "agents" gets "free stuff". But the agents have the choice to spread the words (good or BAD) and they are encouraged to be honest. If a BzzAgent did not like the product but chose to present the product as "good" to other people, then it means that this person has questionable integrity. It should be the person that is blamed, and not the WOM strategy or the company as a whole.
It is sad to see so much hatred towards BzzAgents. Many BzzAgents, including myself, have never promoted any BzzCampaigns on Gather.com. But the whole group of us is hated because of a few BzzAgents' misconduct. I don't agree with abusing Gather.com as a personal broadcasting station just as much as the existing Gather.com members do.