A public relations firm settled a Federal Trade Commission enforcement action in which the agency alleged that the firm engaged in deceptive advertising when its employees posed as ordinary consumers posting game reviews at the online iTunes store, and it did not disclose that the reviews came from paid employees working on behalf of the developers. According to the FTC's announcement of the settlement, the firm and its sole owner are required to remove any previously posted endorsements that misrepresent the authors as independent users or ordinary consumers, and that fail to disclose a connection between the firm and its owner and the seller of a product or service. The agreement also bars the firm and its owner from misrepresenting that the user or endorser is an independent, ordinary consumer, and from making endorsement or user claims about a product or service unless they disclose any relevant connections that they have with the seller of the product or service.
In the Matter of Reverb Communications, Inc. FTC File No. 092 3199 (Aug. 2010) Download PDF