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FTC Orders Online Retailer to Post Negative Customer Reviews of Its Products

  • The FTC reached a settlement with online fashion retailer Fashion Nova, LLC to resolve allegations that it blocked negative reviews from being posted on its website in violation of the FTC Act.
  • The complaint alleged that between 2015 and 2019, Fashion Nova used a third-party online product review management interface to automatically display positive customer product reviews on its website and block hundreds of thousands of product reviews with lower ratings than four out of five stars, while misrepresenting the product reviews on its website as reflective of honest consumer opinions.
  • Under the terms of the proposed consent order, Fashion Nova will pay $4.2 million to the FTC. Fashion Nova is also required to post all relevant customer reviews of products currently being sold on its website and is prohibited from misrepresenting customer reviews or other endorsements, among other things. The settlement will be subject to a 30-day public comment period after publication in the Federal Register.
  • Also this month, the FTC provided new guidance for online retailersand review platforms about collecting and publishing customer reviews in non-misleading ways, and it sent letters to ten review management service providers, notifying them that selectively failing to collect or publish negative reviews is a violation of the FTC Act.