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.