Update: Online Reviews and Endorsements

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently published an open letter providing guidance on online reviews and endorsements. This follows the CMA’s investigation into how online reviews and endorsements are being used, and whether this use complies with consumer protection laws.

The CMA’s letter offers guidance on two areas of concern:

Clearly labelling or identifying paid promotions

Businesses should ensure that it is obvious to readers when articles or blogs feature paid promotions, by clearly identifying or labelling paid promotions, providing clear instructions to marketing agencies, and ensuring that all policies on paid promotions reflect the requirements of consumer protection law.

Writing, commissioning and publishing fake reviews

Businesses should not offer inducements to customers in return for positive reviews, and not pretend to be a customer and write fake reviews. If customers are invited to provide feedback this must be done honestly, as misleading readers may breach consumer protection laws.

The content of this Update is for information only and does not constitute legal advice. It states the law as at May 2016. We recommend that specific professional advice is obtained on any particular matter. We do not accept responsibility for any loss arising as a result of the use of the information contained in this update.