Three companies have provided undertakings to the CMA that will ensure all advertising and other marketing in articles and blogs is clearly labelled.

Case closed

4 April 2016: MYJAR, Starcom Mediavest and TAN Media have all provided undertakings to the CMA that they will ensure all advertising and other marketing in articles and blogs is clearly labelled or identified so that it is distinguishable from the opinion of a journalist or blogger.

The undertakings were secured following a CMA investigation under its consumer enforcement powers. The CMA’s investigation found two marketing companies, Starcom Mediavest and TAN Media, arranged for undisclosed advertising in online articles and blogs on behalf of MYJAR, a short-term loan provider. This activity was carried out as part of their search engine optimisation (SEO) activities.

The CMA has also written to 13 marketing companies, 20 businesses that use the services of marketing companies and 33 publishers of online articles and blogs, to warn them that helping to arrange or publish advertising or other marketing that is not clearly distinguishable from the opinion of a journalist or blogger may result in them breaking the law.

Case opened

19 June 2015: Following the CMA’s call for information on online reviews and endorsements, the CMA has opened an investigation using its consumer enforcement powers into a number of companies in connection with the potential non-disclosure of paid endorsements.

Contacts

Team leader

Jennifer West (jennifer.west@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6922)

Project director

Jon Riley (jon.riley@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6143)

Senior responsible officer

Nisha Arora (nisha.arora@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6853)

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