FTC Charges Review Site for Endorsed Reviews

Photo (c) bigtunaonline – Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled with UrthBox, a product subscription service, one complaint was that UrthBox was paid for reviews while presenting said reviews as independent reviews rather than endorsements. UrthBox was also alleged to have failed in the disclosure of “important terms” to its “free trial” automatic renewal program. All in all, UrthBox will pay $100,000 to the FTC.

Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated, “People should be able to trust that good customer reviews aren’t the result of companies secretly paying the reviewers…As this case shows, we hold companies accountable for this kind of deceptive marketing.”

Celebrities and social media influencers are also being investigated by the FTC for similar practices. In 2016 the FTC sent warning letters to almost a 100 social media celebrities telling them that they must disclose if they are being paid to endorse a product, although there are very few regulations on how social media stars present themselves.

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FTC Charges Review Site for Endorsed Reviews

Photo (c) bigtunaonline – Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled with UrthBox, a product subscription service, one complaint was that UrthBox was paid for reviews while presenting said reviews as independent reviews rather than endorsements. UrthBox was also alleged to have failed in the disclosure of “important terms” to its “free trial” automatic renewal program. All in all, UrthBox will pay $100,000 to the FTC.

Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated, “People should be able to trust that good customer reviews aren’t the result of companies secretly paying the reviewers…As this case shows, we hold companies accountable for this kind of deceptive marketing.”

Celebrities and social media influencers are also being investigated by the FTC for similar practices. In 2016 the FTC sent warning letters to almost a 100 social media celebrities telling them that they must disclose if they are being paid to endorse a product, although there are very few regulations on how social media stars present themselves.

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