Consumer Reports submitted comments responsive to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Use of Consumer Reviews and Testimonials. The FTC is considering changes that would make it an unfair or deceptive act or practice for businesses to buy or sell fake consumer reviews, testimonials, and indicators of social media influence. The proposed Rule would also make it an unfair or deceptive act or practice for businesses to repurpose product pages in order to “hijack” reviews for more popular products, a practice Consumer Reports previously reported on.
Consumer Reports supported the proposed Rule, though it urged the FTC to create more affirmative obligations for review platforms, such as Google, Yelp, and Trip Advisor, to reduce the amount of fake reviews on their services. Consumer Reports also urged the Commission to expand the reach of proposed disclosure obligations, eliminate unnecessary knowledge standards that would make investigations more difficult, and make other narrow improvements to strengthen consumer protections.
To read the full comments, please see the attached PDF.