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Federal warns businesses: fake online reviews can lead to fines | WGN Radio 720

Washington (AP) —Federal regulators say companies are cracking down on “explosive growth” in the use of fake reviews and other misleading messages to promote their products and services on social media. increase.

The Federal Trade Commission has warned hundreds of large and small businesses that they may face fines if they use fake endorsements to deceive consumers.

“The rise of social media has blurred the line between real content and advertising, exploding deceptive support across the market,” the FTC said in a news release Wednesday.

FTC’s actions represent a commitment to change the authority to use penalties to enforce consumer protection legislation. The agency said it had sent a formal notice of the penalty breach to about 700 companies, warning that each breach could result in fines of up to $ 43,792.

“Fake reviews and other forms of deceptive support deceive consumers and undermine honest business,” said Samuel Levine, head of the government’s Consumer Protection Agency. “Advertisers will pay a price if they engage in these deceptive practices.”

The companies that receive notifications are who’s who of Corporate America, including large corporations, major retailers, consumer goods companies, and major advertisers and advertising agencies.

They include technology giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and their YouTube video services, as well as Internet service providers such as AT & T and Comcast. Others operate from retailer Abercrombie & Fitch and brewer Anheuser-Busch to manufacturers of General Electric, General Motors and Honda. It also includes popular shopping and review sites such as eBay and Yelp.

However, the FTC emphasized that the company that received the notice did not suggest that it engaged in deceptive or unfair conduct.

This notice cites practices previously determined by the agency to be unfair or deceptive. This includes falsely claiming third-party authorization, falsely telling if the approver is a real user, or using authorization to make a fraudulent performance claim. It also states that it did not disclose a significant relationship with the approver and misrepresented the approver’s experience as representing the typical consumer experience.

Federal warns businesses: fake online reviews can lead to fines | WGN Radio 720

Source link Federal warns businesses: fake online reviews can lead to fines | WGN Radio 720

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