Do You Trust TripAdvisor?

Posted by Sue Anderson, 1st Feb 2012

After a recent ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), TripAdvisor has been ordered to amend some of their marketing claims.

The ruling follows complaints from an online reputation firm Kwikchex and two hotels, arguing that the wording used on TripAdvisor's website claiming "Reviews you can trust", "...read reviews from real travellers" and "More than 50 million honest travel reviews and opinions from real travellers around the worlds" were misleading because TripAdvisor could not prove that the reviews were either genuine or from real travellers.

The ASA acknowledged that reviewers were asked to agree to a declaration that their review was their genuine opinion and that they had no personal or business affiliation with the hotel, or been offered an incentive to write the review. However the ASA believed that consumers would take the words as written, and would therefore believe all reviews posted on the site were from genuine travellers. The resulting ruling is that TripAdvisor was not to claim or imply that all the reviews on the website were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted.

TripAdvisor has already made the necessary changes to its UK website and made the following statement to Tnooz, a travel technology news site:

"The ASA ruling flies in the face of common sense, and is out of touch with the millions of real people who use and trust consumer review sites like ours every day."

Do you use Tripadvisor? Do you think the ASA have got this right? Who's to blame, Tripadvisor, the hotels or consumers who try to use Tripadvisor reviews as leverage?

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