The UK’s consumer protection and competition authority, the CMA, is going to look at the way businesses use online reviews and endorsements after concerns were raised about their “trustworthiness” and “impartiality”.
It will include those on web blogs, video blogs, social media, specialist review sites, trusted trader sites, retail platforms, and retailers’ own websites.
The roles that media companies, online reputation managers and search engine optimisers play in helping businesses to promote their products/services and manage their reputations in relation to these sites, will be included.
A spokesperson said “While the growth in the use of online reviews and endorsements has the potential to empower consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions, businesses can benefit too. Recommendations from reviews or bloggers can pull in new customers, feedback from consumers can help suppliers to improve customer services, and blogs and social media provide new opportunities to advertise and promote products and services. Conversely, false or misleading reviews or endorsements have the potential to mislead consumers and harm businesses.”