Online reviews from customers can be a tricky area of business for retailers and suppilers alike:
“Enter the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s primary consumer protection agency, which has warned companies that positive online reviews can be considered paid endorsements in certain situations and thus require appropriate disclosures. The agency’s Endorsement and Testimonial Guides attempt to clarify the line between the “regular unbiased” consumer and the compensated consumer. A foodie blogger who finds a new kale product at her local greenmarket and writes gushingly about it on her own would not be considered an endorser under the FTC Guides. But if she receives free products or is otherwise compensated by the seller for her review, she would be considered an endorser and required to disclose her connection to the seller in her blog.“
If you are offering free or discounted products to consumers in hopes of receiving good reviews, it’s important that you understand the FTC’s guidelines. Improper processes could lead to regulatory trouble.