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Businesses beware – fake online reviews being targeted by ACCC

The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) is targeting and monitoring online reviews.

Fake Online Reviews targeted by ACCC

ACCC targeting fake online reviews – fines of up to $1.1 million.

It has found that some businesses engage in sub-optimal practices of posting their own fake reviews, or paying others to post online reviews, about their products and services. 

Such practice is in breach of Australian consumer law, which prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct.  Even selectively omitting negative reviews, may amount to misleading conduct.

Severe Penalties – Fines up to $1.1 Million

Businesses can face severe penalties if they are found to have engaged in such practice, including fines for up to $1.1 million.

The ACCC has released Online Reviews:  A Guide for Business and Review Platforms.  The Guide clarifies what types of practices should be avoided, to help retailers achieve best practice.  It is hoped that the Guide will reduce misleading and deceptive conduct associated with online reviews by educating and raising awareness among retailers.

For more information, see here.