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 understand our market dynamics

~ Lees Solicitors ~

  Lees Solicitors

"theEword are scrupulously honest and hardworking"

~ Britannia Living ~

  Britannia Living

"theEword consistently go above and beyond"

~ Merlin Entertainments ~

  Merlin Entertainments

"They are so creative, they come up with so many fantastic ideas"

~ Manchester Law Society ~

  Manchester Law Society

View more of our testimonials »

Yahoo urges Firefox users to switch from Google Wednesday 25th of March, 2015by Dan Moores Firefox users who have manually set Google as their default search engine are now confronted with the following message: "Yahoo is the preferred search engine for Firefox. Switch now."

More on this story »
james_riches_swap

March UK search market: Google halts Bing’s recent rise Wednesday 8th of April, 2015by James Riches Google’s UK search market share rose for the first time in five months during March. Elsewhere, Google announced some key developments and lots of us searched for Jeremy Clarkson news.

More on this story »

Bing implements one small change and one big change Tuesday 14th of April, 2015by Dan Moores Over the past week, Bing has implemented two changes. One appears to be directly influenced by Google, while the other demonstrates independent thinking and creativity.

More on this story »
theEword - 28 mins ago

We don't want just any relationship manager. We want the best. Is that you? http://t.co/vwpSbxqi4W #digitaljobs http://t.co/PGPNBxlWuw

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 19 hours ago

Could you see yourself working here? http://t.co/Augy0f2qCy Check out our recent #job openings > http://t.co/AxGLbf8dtA #Digitaljobs

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 1 day ago

What does a #digitalagency looks like from the inside? Follow us on Instagram to find out > http://t.co/9kVMoVVjVT http://t.co/FpP4RDwqec

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 2 days ago

Are you talented in #PPC? We have a #job opportunity just for you > http://t.co/ugNZuIYIR2 http://t.co/9eTQiQ60X6

Reply Retweet Favourite
theEword - 2 days ago

Here's a #digitalmarketing #tip: Stop obsessing over 'channel' > http://t.co/0Fg5u03kEp http://t.co/ELEBGfYFJi

Reply Retweet Favourite

Content and the Customer: the journey Friday 6th of March, 2015by Sian English From acquisition to conversion, content plays a vital role. But have you given much thought to how that role evolves during the customer's journey? Here are the different stages your customers go through with your content.

More on this story »

Light a Fire with Hems de Winter Thursday 19th of March, 2015by Andy Williams Hems de Winter, CEO of de Winter PR, joined Light a Fire for an in-depth chat at BoConcept’s showroom on Great Ancoats Street, discussing his life and career.

More on this story »

Five tips: how to write clear web copy Thursday 2nd of April, 2015by Dan Moores A lot of web copy is unclear and needlessly complicated. It can actually damage your sales because it helps no-one. Here are five ways to make your web copy clear and engaging.

More on this story »

Who loves theEword

Who loves theEword Who loves theEword