Fair Trading

The advice sheets below have the latest information on fair trading. If you need more advice call 01753 475111 (Regulatory Services option).

Online reviews and endorsements


In the guide

Websites that publish reviews must ensure they provide the full picture to consumers

This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales

Businesses, media agencies or individuals that publish opinions online should make sure that content that has been paid for is clearly identifiable. Otherwise the business, media agency and the person publishing the content might break the law.

Competition & Markets Authority guidance

The CMA has published guidance for businesses on what they need to do to comply with the law on online reviews and endorsements.

There are three 60-second summaries:

  • Online Reviews: Letting Your Customers see the True Picture
  • Giving a Balanced Picture: do's and don'ts for Online Review Sites
  • Online Endorsements: Being Open and Honest with Your Audience

These summaries explain what review sites, media agencies, businesses and suppliers of goods or services should do when posting opinions online to make sure they comply with consumer protection law.


A breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 is a criminal offence. The maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment.

Enforcers can also apply for a court order requiring you to comply. If the order is not complied with the maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment.

Key legislation

Last reviewed / updated: September 2018

Please note

This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.