FTC announced proposed rule banning fake reviews and testimonials

The Federal Trade Commission proposed a new rule to stop marketers from using illicit review and endorsement practices such as using fake reviews, suppressing honest negative reviews, and paying for positive reviews, which deceive consumers looking for real feedback on a product or service and undercut honest businesses.

“Our proposed rule on fake reviews shows that we’re using all available means to attack deceptive advertising in the digital age,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.  “The rule would trigger civil penalties for violators and should help level the playing field for honest companies.”

Read more about the proposed rule.

The Federal Trade Commission also finalized an updated version of its Endorsement Guides, which provide agency guidance to businesses and others to ensure that advertising using reviews or endorsements is truthful. The Endorsement Guides advise businesses on what practices may be unfair or deceptive in violation of the FTC Act, and they were last revised in 2009.

The FTC also issued an updated version of a guidance document that answers frequently asked questions about the Endorsement Guides. Primarily addressing when and how to disclose material connections, the document is entitled, FTC’s Endorsement Guides: What People are Asking. Last revised in 2017, the new version includes 40 additional questions and updates dozens of other answers.

Read more about the updated advertising guides.