RSS LinkedIn Google Plus

Call us: 0800 014 9884

TripAdvisor rapped over website claims

TripAdvisor_rapped_over_website_claims_9971

User-generated content under suspicion

Online copywriters have been warned not to claim that user-generated content is reliable after the UK regulator made what it describes as a ‘benchmark ruling’.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which is responsible for commercial copywriting on websites, spoke out in the wake of its ruling against US travel review portal TripAdvisor. Two hotels and an online reputation firm that represented several others had complained that TripAdvisor’s website was going too far with the claims ‘reviews you can trust’, ‘TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travellers’, ‘read reviews from real travellers’ and ‘more than 50 million honest travel reviews and opinions from real travellers around the world’.

Case for the defence

In its defence, TripAdvisor pointed out that it had various measures to ensure that most of its user-generated content was genuine – such as introducing fraud detection systems, requiring every contributor to confirm that their review was genuine and providing a right to reply for hoteliers. In an argument that will doubtless ring true to many website owners, they also argued that it was not practical to manually examine the integrity of millions of reviews.

Nevertheless, the ASA decided that TripAdvisor’s commercial copywriting claims would be interpreted by consumers as meaning that every review had been posted by genuine travellers giving their honest opinions. This was deemed to be a breach of two parts of the Committee of Advertising Practice Code relating to misleading advertising and substantiation. And the ASA ordered TripAdvisor to refrain from using copy that made the same claims again in future.

Matthew Wilson, the ASA’s spokesman, told the BBC that this judgement had a much wider relevance. “This should be regarded as a benchmark ruling which applies to all web sites which make claims about the reliability of their user-generated content,” he said.

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, added: “Every company trading in the UK needs to ensure that copy on their websites can stand up to independent scrutiny. By using a trustworthy commercial copywriting service that knows how to keep within the rules, website owners can avoid the embarrassment of a public dressing down from the regulator.”

Written by Richard Frost

Testimonials

"theEword soon became an essential extension to our internal online marketing team."

~ Screwfix Bathrooms ~

  Screwfix Bathrooms

"We are extremely happy with the online visibility achieved through SEO and PPC."

~ Pure Student Living ~

  Pure Student Living

"theEword has consistently produced great results; very happy with the service."

~ Parasol ~

  Parasol

"theEword team has excelled itself in terms of client service, campaign measurement and responsiveness."

~ Linder Myers ~

  Linder Myers

View more of our testimonials »

james_riches_swap

Schmidt defiant on Google privacy efforts Monday 15th of December, 2014by James Riches Google chairman Eric Schmidt has outlined how the company responded in the wake of Edward Snowden’s shock revelations last year, including increased security and privacy measures.

More on this story »

Bing search results removed from Facebook Tuesday 16th of December, 2014by Andy Williams Facebook has completely removed Bing results from its internal search engine, instead focusing heavily on the improvement of their own search capabilities.

More on this story »

Google announces trending topics and videos feature Wednesday 17th of December, 2014by Martin Lindley The new feature is available in over 50 languages and allows users to deeper explore trending topics: to do so the user clicks on a trend of interest to them.

More on this story »
theEword - 6 hours ago

Marketers: if you could send a message to yourself back in time to the start of 2014, what would it say? http://t.co/9kqlzuN11W

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 13 hours ago

Google announces trending topics and video feature: http://t.co/GYYJRatwKR

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 13 hours ago

What is your Christmas tradition? http://t.co/RWBAiuycS9

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 2 days ago

Slowly but surely presents are making their way under theEword tree! What's the best or worst Secret Santa you have received?

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 3 days ago

What do Flappy Bird and Conchita Wurst have in common? http://t.co/IaBIMzscpX

Reply Retweet Favourite

theEweekly Wrap: 5 Dec Friday 5th of December, 2014by Andy Williams This Week: Google to develop child-friendly apps, North Korea denies hacking Sony Pictures and Gangnam Style manages to break Youtube’s view counter.

More on this story »

theEweekly Wrap: 12 Dec Friday 12th of December, 2014by Martin Lindley This week: Google Penguin gets live updates, Microsoft accepts bitcoin, and old iPod sells for thousands.

More on this story »
daniel_nolan_swap

Google Zeitgeist 2014 list reveals the world's search intere... Tuesday 16th of December, 2014by Daniel Nolan See the search terms the world has been looking for this year with Google's 2014 Trends.

More on this story »

Who loves theEword

Who loves theEword Who loves theEword