ASA Investigates TripAdvisor

ASA to investigate TripAdvisor

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has launched an investigation into TripAdvisor following growing criticism of its failure to monitor fake comments posted online.

A formal ASA inquiry was opened after a complaint that ‘abuse, flaws and distortion’ on the TripAdvisor website had reached ‘epidemic levels’.

The Advertising Standards Authority has confirmed it is investigating  TripAdvisor for alleged untrustworthy, malicious and fake reviews. The investigation follows an official complaint from  Kwikchex , the reputation management consultancy which has spent the past year collecting information on behalf of hotels that have been on the receiving end of defamatory and false reviews on TripAdvisor. 

The ASA says the investigation is warranted under its remit to check the veracity of TripAdvisor’s marketing claims to publish “unbiased and genuine reviews from real travellers” on its site.

KwikChex believes that if TripAdvisor is found to be in breach of the ASA code then it could be forced to verify reviews. However, in my opinion it could lead to no more than the withdrawal of certain of TripAdvisors dubious and unsubstantiated claims for the veracity and trustworthiness of its reviews, possibly no more than minor tweaks to the current wording.

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7 responses to “ASA Investigates TripAdvisor

  1. As TA does not permit the removal or a listing would trademarking the B&B name a way around that ?

    • I don’t think so. In my amateur and unofficial view, trademark infringement usually involves passing off – selling X but pretending it’s Y – or misrepresentation – like pretending you represent or are acting on behalf of the trademarked goods or services when you are not their authorised agent. I’m sure there’s plenty of stuff on the Internet about Trademark law if you want to check.

  2. Surely it is false advertising to lure someone to your webpage stating it had reviews, photos and deals on a place/product which in fact it did not ?

  3. I am currently designing a website for a local bed and breakfast. It is now well listed in all major search engines although Tripadvisor usually steals the lime light from the listing by being listed before it or on either side.
    My issue is that the tripadvisor listing in the search results falsely states :

    B&b X area X | B&b X Reviews | TripAdvis
    “Visiting area X? Stay at B&b X! TripAdvisor has reviews, traveller photos, and great deals for B&b X in area X.

    Now when I click on their listing it has “No reviews”, “No Photos” and “No Deals”. They are falsely listing it to steal business from my own listing.
    When you click through to Tripadvisor there are no contact details for the B&B (apart from address) and they list all the other “paid for” listings.

    In my opinion its blatant false advertising.

    • TripAdvisor has teams of engineers to optimise their pages for search engines and they are good at their job so TA tends to appear near the top whenever someone searches for a hotel, regardless of how relevant/helpful their page is. People don’t help themselves by using TA widgets on their own websites, as these contain backlinks to TripAdvisor pages and this further aids SEO.

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