Consultation outcome

Online reviews and endorsements

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Report on the CMA's call for information

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Detail of outcome

The Competition and Markets Authority (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 has opened an investigation using its consumer enforcement powers into a number of companies in connection with the potential non-disclosure of paid endorsements.

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.

Original consultation

Summary

A call for information on the use of online reviews and endorsements.

This consultation ran from
to

Consultation description

Online reviews and endorsements for products and services are playing a growing role in helping consumers to make buying decisions.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is aware of potential concerns about how trustworthy and impartial some of the information provided to consumers in reviews and endorsements can be.

As part of our markets work, we’re seeking views on this issue from:

  • consumers who use review sites or blogs
  • review sites that host customer reviews
  • bloggers who write about products/services
  • suppliers of products/services that are reviewed on customer review sites or in blogs
  • businesses who help to promote suppliers’ brands on review sites or blogs or to manage their reputations online
  • others who have carried out research into this area

Further details of this project can be found on the online reviews and endorsements case page.

If you’re a blogger or a business, please use one of the response forms above.

If you’re a member of the public, please complete and submit our online form below or complete the consumer response form above.

Documents

Online reviews and endorsements: call for information

Bloggers response form

This file is in an OpenDocument format

Consumer response form

This file is in an OpenDocument format

Review sites response form

This file is in an OpenDocument format

Suppliers response form

This file is in an OpenDocument format

How the CMA will handle responses

Published 26 February 2015
Last updated 19 June 2015 + show all updates
  1. Report of call for information published.
  2. First published.