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What is the legal position around fake online reviews and unlabelled endorsements?
We spoke with Miranda De Savorgnani of Outer Temple Chambers about this area of law. Although many businesses simply choose to put these sorts of shenanigans down to 'sharp' business practice, they are putting themselves at great risk if they do so.
In particular, she comments on the recent report, 'Online reviews and endorsements', from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and what it means for businesses.
In this report, the CMA has set out its expectations as to how businesses and review sites will ensure they are in compliance with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) when they engage in any commercial practice directly connected with the promotion, sale or supply of goods and service. In particular, businesses (and anyone acting on their behalf) should:
In addition, review sites (meaning any website that hosts customer reviews) should:
The CMA identified a number of practical approaches used by reputable review sites to help mitigate the impact of fake reviews. Review sites may:
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