Fake reviews warning sign on fence
Photograph (c) Gwengoat – Getty Pictures

In a unanimous vote by commissioners, the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) has elected to warn firms that allegedly use pretend opinions and deceptive endorsements to deceive customers. The company mentioned it is going to use “each software at its disposal” to carry these firms accountable.

“The rise of social media has blurred the road between genuine content material and promoting, resulting in an explosion in misleading endorsements throughout {the marketplace}. Pretend on-line opinions and different misleading endorsements typically tout merchandise all through the net world,” the FTC mentioned. 

The company fired off notices to 700 firms to warn them that it’s prepared to put down the legislation in the event that they don’t begin toeing the road. To rein in offenders, the FTC says it is going to be utilizing its Penalty Offense Authority to remind advertisers of the company’s authorized rights and deter them from crossing the road. 

If these firms proceed to make use of endorsements and opinions to mislead customers, they might face important civil penalties — as much as $43,792 per violation.

“Pretend opinions and different types of misleading endorsements cheat customers and undercut trustworthy companies,” mentioned Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Client Safety. “Advertisers can pay a worth in the event that they interact in these misleading practices.”

Which firms obtained warning letters?

The FTC’s checklist of offenders is an array of enormous firms, prime advertisers, main retailers, prime client product firms, and main promoting businesses, however the model names alone will increase an eyebrow or two.

A fast pattern of the businesses the FTC warned consists of:

  • 1-800-Flowers.com

  • adidas

  • Airbnb 

  • Ashley Furnishings 

  • AutoZone

  • Costco

  • FedEx

  • J. Crew

  • Macy’s

  • PepsiCo

  • Starbucks

  • Subaru

  • Walgreens

  • Zales

When ConsumerAffairs went on the lookout for those who escaped the FTC’s ire, those listed on the “50 Most Useful International Manufacturers” had been few and much between. A number of the firms that did get a cross included American Categorical, UPS (nevertheless, the UPS Retailer did obtain a discover), and JPMorgan Chase.



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