Fake reviews to be made illegal

20 Apr

The government has announced it will be granting the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), enhanced powers to combat fake reviews by making it illegal to pay someone to write or host a fake review. These new measures will come into effect following Parliamentary approval and will apply to Wales, Scotland and England.

The government is consulting on a new law against commissioning someone to write or submit a fake review, hosting consumer reviews without taking reasonable steps to check they are genuine, and offering or advertising to submit, commission or facilitate fake reviews.

Consumer minister Paul Scully has stated: "We're making sure consumer protections keep pace with a modern, digitised economy. No longer will you visit a five-star-reviewed restaurant only to find a burnt lasagne or get caught in a subscription in which there's no end in sight. Consumers deserve better and the majority of businesses out there doing the right thing deserve protection from rogue traders undermining them."

Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality CEO, believed the extra powers would "help stamp out the practice of fake reviews, which do irreparable damage to businesses". Adding that she would ensure that "consumers are safeguarded without placing any further unnecessary burdens on businesses".

This announcement is likely to be welcome news to out hospitality, leisure and retail clients.  

Law correct at the date of publication.
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