“Review Hijacking” – Why a Supplement Company Must Pay $600k to Consumers
🚩The Bountiful Company was issued a final consent order by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for deceiving consumers on Amazon. According to the FTC, Bountiful participated in a practice called “review hijacking,” which is where a company steals or repurposes reviews from one product and applies them to another.
Bountiful had manipulated a feature on Amazon and deceived consumers by applying ratings and reviews from established products that Bountiful offered on Amazon to its new products – this made it appear that Bountiful’s new supplements had more favorable reviews and ratings than they actually did. The Amazon feature is intended for variations on the same product (size, flavor, color, etc.), but Bountiful used it to group unrelated products in an effort to boost the sales of poor-selling releases. Aside from a boost in reviews and ratings, some new Bountiful products were also unjustifiably given badges like “#1 Best Seller” and “Amazon’s Choice” on the Amazon marketplace.
❓What are the consequences of Bountiful’s deceptive conduct?
The FTC took action to hold Bountiful accountable and protect consumers. Its order requires Bountiful to:
📌Pay $600,000 to compensate harmed consumers;
📌Stop making similar misrepresentations and using deceptive review tactics; and
📌Provide periodic records to the FTC to demonstrate compliance with the order.
💡What’s the ultimate lesson here?
✅ Keep your reviews truthful and accurate; and
✅ Don’t mislead your customers about the quality of your products or services (even when deception is easy).
☎ Need guidance or have questions about truthful advertising or how to comply with marketing regulations? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Your Ad Attorney, Inc. Schedule a call with me at https://calendly.com/youradattorney. We are here to assist you in staying on the FTC’s good side.