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In February 2011, we wrote about claims made by “online reputation services” company KwikChex that TripAdvisor was hosting 27,000 defamatory and fake reviews. In September 2011, the Advertising Standards Authority said it would look into the claims that TripAdvisor had published fake reviews.

The ASA is “the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media, now including marketing on websites,” according to its website.

The Guardian reported that the UK Advertising Standards Authority has now weighed in on the issue and said “it was possible that ‘non-genuine’ reviews could be carried on the site.”  According to the ASA’s adjudication, it received three complaints over the issue.

The ASA’s review was in response to a complaint that the site’s “marketing copy” claiming that all TripAdvisor reviews are “honest and from real travelers,” according to the Guardian.

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Phony Travel Reviews to be Reviewed

The ASA found that TripAdvisor’s moderation of the site could allow fake reviews to be published and noted that TripAdvisor indicated all reviews were legitimate.

The ASA ruled that “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told TripAdvisor not to claim or imply that all the reviews that appeared on the website were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted.”

Read the ASA’s adjudication here.

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Advertising Watchdog on Claims TripAdvisor Published Fake Reviews

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