Fake Consumer Reviews

On the consumer protection front, the FTC settled charges that a public relations agency engaged in deceptive advertising “by having employees pose as ordinary consumers posting game reviews at the online iTunes store, and not disclosing that the reviews came from paid employees working on behalf of the developers. This activity was in violation of the FTC's Revised Endorsement Guidelines which require disclosure. The PR firm, Reverb Communications, is required to take down the fraudulent postings and bars them from making similar postings in the future without appropriate disclosures.

Press release: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/08/reverb.shtm

Links to Complaint and Consent Order: http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0923199/index.shtm

Information on the FTC's Revised Endorsement Guidelines (16 CFR Part 255): http://ftc.gov/multimedia/video/business/endorsement-guides.shtm

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