Today the FTC announced a $600,000 fine against The Bountiful Company for reportedly “review hijacking,” where the company artificially received ratings and reviews, higher average ratings, and “#1 Best Seller” and “Amazon’s Choice” badges.
At issue here were The Bountiful Company’s efforts to flood Amazon with what was allegedly manipulation of the Amazon.com product pages.
Companies trying to get more reviews and security best sellers or Amazon’s choice markings are not new. Now though, for the first time, the FTC has fined a company for “review hijacking” as the FTC continues its efforts to crack down on fake reviews online.
With this order, Bountiful is barred from making similar types of misrepresentations and bars the company from using deceptive review tactics that “distort what consumers think about its products or services.”
This will always be a tough fight as a growing number of companies try to game Amazon’s review system in order to get better placement or more favorable reviews now though, it looks like the FTC is going to be more aggressive in how they fight fake reviews.