By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Have you ever been told that if you post a good review on line you’ll get a discount on your next purchase? Yeah, about that.
AmeriFreight, a company that ships automobiles, has just agreed to settle a complaint brought by the FTC, which claimed AmeriFreight’s advertising was misleading.
According to the FTC, the company gave $50 off to customers who agreed to post on line reviews, followed up to make sure they had done so, and then offered another $100 as a chance to win their ‘best monthly review’ contest. (Probably weren’t likely to win if you talked smack about them) And then AmeriFreight said on its website that it was the company with more highly ranked ratings and reviews than any other company in the automotive transportation business – without telling consumers ‘because we pay people to say good stuff’.
Uh, that’s illegal? Cause it kinda just seems like smart advertising.
But, in the first lawsuit of its kind, the FTC said that by not telling consumers that they paid for good reviews, their advertising was misleading and illegal.
If your company is thinking of giving away dollars or discounts for positive reviews, feel free. But then you’ll also have to tell the people reading those reviews ‘all of the people we paid to say good things about us say good things’.
Less persuasive but more legal.