Coronavirus

Please see our coronavirus pages for the latest guidance, how services are affected, and what help is available.

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

Pixel

In the guide

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

This guidance is for England, Scotland and 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 and 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.

Penalties

Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment. For more information please see 'Trading standards: powers, enforcement and penalties'.

Key legislation

Last reviewed / updated: February 2020

In this update

No major changes

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 legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab.