Online reviews and endorsements

The CMA has published its call for information report on online reviews and endorsements.

Update - 11 August

The CMA has now concluded 2 further investigations as part of its work on online reviews and endorsements and has obtained undertakings from:

Update - 17 June 2016

The CMA is continuing to engage with companies operating in the online review and endorsements sectors regarding concerns set out in its call for information report. It is our intention to update on this work by the end of August 2016.

Call for information

19 June 2015: The CMA has found that online reviews and endorsements are proving useful to consumers, but it has concerns that some practices may be unlawful. In the course of its work, the CMA heard about instances of potentially misleading practices:

  • fake reviews being posted onto review sites
  • negative reviews not being published
  • businesses paying for endorsements in blogs and other online articles without this being made clear to consumers

In response, the CMA:

  • carried out an investigation using its consumer enforcement powers into a number of companies in connection with the non-disclosure of paid endorsements
  • carried out an investigation using its consumer enforcement powers into a search engine optimisation company in connection with potential fake reviews
  • carried out work with trusted trader and care home review sites to improve practices

Other concerns that have been raised with the CMA are being assessed to determine whether enforcement action is warranted.

Alongside its report, the CMA has also published advice for businesses on what they need to do to comply with consumer protection law.

Contacts

Project manager

David Hart (david.hart@cma.gsi.gov.uk, 020 3738 6849)

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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