In the guide

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.

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Penalties

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.

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Key legislation

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

 

Last reviewed / updated: June 2017

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.

Feedback

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.

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.