Under laws due to come into force at the beginning of next year, but likely to be delayed until April for the UK, companies posing as consumers on fake blogs, providing fake testimonies on consumer rating websites such as TripAdvisor, or writing fake book reviews on Amazon risk criminal or civil liability...
The directive catches all commercial organisations - big or small - and the upshot is that companies (including sole traders) will no longer be able to pay individual bloggers or professional agencies to post false or misleading blogs or reviews online. Nor will they be able to do it themselves.
Three things come immediately to mind:
1) They can't be too happy over at Pay-Per-Post;
2) Apparently the United States is some bizarro world where this kind of behavior is perfectly appropriate; and
3) Apparently the UK is more honest than the US but needs a little time to get used to that.
I was also a little concerned by the last sentence of the article:
Whatever happens, the new laws are likely to have advertising and marketing agencies scratching their heads as they think up new (legal) online marketing campaigns.Seriously? The marketing guys are stumped now that lying is off the table?