FTC Confirms Fake Reviews Are Illegal
A Federal Trade Commission settlement with California based music marketer Reverb Communications (not to be confused with ReverbNation) confirms that unlabeled paid reviews violate truth in advertising regulations. The guidelines were updated last year to include blog and the web reviews as well as Facebook and Twitter. These bogus reviews appeared on iTunes.
“We hope that this case will show advertisers that they have to be transparent in their practices and help guide other ad agencies,” Stacey Ferguson, a lawyer in the advertising practices division of the trade commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection told the New York Times. (via Daily Swarm)
“This case sort of shows that what they have in mind is not the individual blogger or Twitterer, but rather a professional endorser,” according to Harvard Law professor Zittrain said. “When a client says ‘Where are my good reviews? I am paying for them,’ you can say, ‘We can’t do it because it is illegal.".