FTC Puts Hundreds of Businesses on Notice about Fake Reviews
The Federal Trade Commission is blanketing industry with a clear message that, if they use endorsements to deceive consumers, the FTC will be ready to hold them responsible with every tool at its disposal. Fake online reviews and other deceptive endorsements often tout products throughout the online world. By sending a Notice of Penalty Offenses to more than 700 companies, the agency is placing them on notice they could incur significant civil penalties-up to $43,792 per violation-if they use endorsements in ways that run counter to prior FTC administrative cases. The Notice of Penalty Offenses allows the agency to seek civil penalties against a company that engages in conduct that it knows has been found unlawful in a previous FTC administrative order, other than a consent order. The Notice sent to the companies outlines a number of practices that the FTC determined to be unfair or deceptive in prior administrative cases. A full list of the businesses receiving the Notice from the FTC is available on the FTC's website. In addition to the Notice, the FTC has created multiple resources for business to ensure that they are following the law when using endorsements to advertise their products and services, which can be found on the FTC's website.