In the guide

In this guide, the words 'must' or 'must not' are used where there is a legal requirement to do (or not do) something. The word 'should' is used where there is established legal guidance or best practice that is likely to help you avoid breaking the law.

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 (CMA) guidance

The CMA has published guidance for businesses on how they can comply with the law on online reviews and endorsements.

There are three 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.

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Trading Standards

For more information on the work of Trading Standards services - and the possible consequences of not abiding by the law - please see 'Trading Standards: powers, enforcement and penalties'.

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In this update

No major changes.

Last reviewed / updated: June 2024

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Key legislation

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

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 often only shows 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 changes to legislation can be found by following the above links and clicking on the 'More Resources' tab.

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Consumer enquiries from England, Scotland and Wales are handled by the Citizens Advice Consumer Service who can be contacted by telephone on 03454 04 05 06. Consumer enquiries in Northern Ireland are handled by ConsumerLine who can be contacted by telephone on 0300 1236262. Call charges may vary.

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Business enquiries are dealt with by your local council. Use the Chartered Trading Standards Institute's postcode finder to locate your local trading standards team.

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