Tip Sheets

UK bill banning fake reviews will ‘better educate consumers’

Media Contact

Becka Bowyer

New legislation in the United Kingdom will ban people from receiving money or free goods for writing positive reviews. Major tech companies will face large fines for breaching the new consumer protection rules.

Kaitlin Woolley

Associate professor of marketing and management communication

Kaitlin Woolley, associate professor of marketing, examines the psychological processes underlying consumer motivation and has studied incentivized product reviews.

Woolley says:

The vast majority of consumers rely on product reviews when making new purchases. Consumers are more likely to buy products with positive reviews, and often cannot easily differentiate between real and fake reviews. In my research, I’ve found people are influenced by positive reviews even if they are warned that such reviews were purchased by the company and thus artificially positive. This is why it is necessary to implement policies to help regulate the review landscape. Since firms are especially likely to manipulate reviews for low-quality products, by removing fake reviews, the hope is that this bill can better educate consumers to improve their decisions and help them avoid these low-quality products.” 

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