4 ways PR pros and marketers can combat fake online reviews

As the holiday shopping season approaches, unscrupulous marketers will be plugging their knockoff products with dishonest reviews on various sites. Here’s how you can stay competitive.

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Fake online reviews are a problem for marketers and brand managers.

Consumers traditionally looked at price and brand history for signals about product quality. They could assume that a more expensive appliance contained more craftsmanship—or a household brand name could be trusted to deliver a safe product.

However, new data suggest that online reviews can wipe out other consumer signals—and reviews can be faked.

Reviews don’t have to come from a platitude-spewing bot to be disingenuous. More commonly, reviews are tainted by dishonest marketing practices.

CBS reported:

“I got a free dress out of the process, they got a review,” said Alex Tran. A yoga and fitness blogger, Tran found herself browsing private Facebook groups dedicated to hooking up sellers with review writers. She quickly received a private message from someone offering to reimburse her in full for purchasing a maxi dress and reviewing it on Amazon.

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