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Deceptive Advertising and Blogs: A crackdown begins August 11, 2009

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Review sites have become widely respected on  the internet, and negative evaluations have become a headache for many businesses. As a result, managing online reputations means that businesses are venturing into risky territory. In fact, many companies are using their own employees to write online reviews, and the National Advertising Review Council, which sets policies for the advertising industry’s regulatatory programs, is beginning to crack down on the practice. For instance, Urban Nutrition, a company that was running web sites appearing as independent product-review blogs was recently under fire in July, and Lifestyle Lift, a cosmetic surgery company guilty of posting fake positive reviews about its services, drew heavy fines as well.

For more on the case of Lifestyle Lift and the consequences of the deceptive advertising on blogs, see the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why do so many people trust consumer reviews on various websites?

2.  Do these review sites, at least those that are actually independent, prevent companies from posting their own reviews as they pose as real people?

3.  Should the practices described above be illegal? If so, why?

4.  What is the danger if these kinds of practices are allowed to continue unchecked?

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Comments»

1. Justin Douglas - September 1, 2011

Thats not cool at all. Thanks for posting this.


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