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CMA launches probe into online review sitesBack

CMAThe Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a probe into online review sites for consumer purchases. It estimates that more than half of UK adults (54%) use online reviews, and that 6% use blogs or vlogs before making purchases.

The CMA is concerned that fake reviews are being posted onto review sites, negative reviews are not being published and that businesses are paying for endorsements in blogs and other online articles without this being made clear to consumers.

It has opened an investigation into a number of unnamed companies in connection with the potential non-disclosure of paid endorsements. The CMA has also produced information for businesses explaining what they need to do to help them comply with the law, alongside a comprehensive report on its findings.

Nisha Arora, CMA Senior Director, consumer, said: “Millions of people look at online reviews and endorsements. “We have found that consumers who use online reviews and endorsements find them valuable, but we have also heard about some practices that may be unlawful.
One of the car trade’s leading providers of dealer reviews JudgeService welcomed the investigation.

Dale Woodley, sales director at JudgeService, said: “As the UK’s leading provider of car dealer reviews, we welcome the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation into businesses that may be paying for endorsements in blogs and other online articles and those writing or commissioning fake reviews.

“At JudgeService we contact individuals who have provided their details or transacted with car dealers and therefore can be completely transparent about customers and their feedback. While customers have the option to remain anonymous, we will always post dealer feedback and our reviews will always include negative as well as positive feedback.”

Source: Motor Trader

Posted by Sue Robinson on 26/06/2015