Canadian Competition Bureau Targets Fake And Dishonest Consumer Reviews

Online reviews are increasingly becoming an important source of information for consumers as well as job seekers. At least 82% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchasing decision. Meanwhile, job seekers read opinions posted on review sites like King Kong agency reviews before they decide on a company. Reviews make them feel confident with their decision.

Josephine Palumbo, deputy commissioner of Deceptive Marketing Practices Directorate at Canadian Competition Bureau said that their current enforcement priorities include advertising and marketing in the digital age. Influencer marketing, false consumer reviews online, dishonest information regarding data privacy and dishonest claims will also be prioritized.

Authentic customer reviews posted on digital platforms benefits both businesses and consumers because the unbiased product information provided helps in making informed decisions. Businesses are rewarded when consumers choose them because of the reviews. Healthy competition in the market is promoted effectively.

However, the Canadian Competition Bureau also recognizes the issues resulting from companies that post unauthentic, untruthful or fake reviews, a practice that is called “astroturfing.” The Bureau has observed an increase in the organized efforts of companies to boost their ratings or lower the ratings of competitors fraudulently.

The practice of astroturfing can happen in different ways. For example, a company can pay an employee to encourage him to post a positive review without disclosing the connection with the product or service being advertised. Customers can also be offered incentives to post positive reviews.

Customers who have been encouraged to leave positive reviews are offered discounts, gifts or cash in return for the review. There are also companies that engage in SEO or search engine optimization who pay third parties to post reviews about the company and negative reviews about the competitor. The practice gives some business an unfair advantage over their competitor. Dishonest reviews also reduce consumer’s trust and confidence in online reviews

When present and past employees post King Kong agency reviews, it is based on their personal experiences with the company. No one knows a company better than its own employees. Aside from promoting the digital services, the employee reviews encourage potential candidates to apply and try the digital agency.

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