The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) purpose is to protect American consumers from deceptive acts or practices in the commerce industry. Basically, they don’t let anything that’s phony slide by. With that being said, the agency often comes in when they find that a consumer brand is being fraudulent with their reviews. Pretending to be paying customers that bought their product and potentially exaggerating the quality and effectiveness of a brand’s product, creating an unfair market place.
This afternoon, it has been reported that Skincare brand Sunday Riley has allegedly been posting fake reviews under their products for two years on Sephora’s website. The FTC found that CEO Sunday Riley directed the staff to create three accounts each on Sephora.com in a July 2016 email. Riley’s email also included instructions for her employees to leave five star reviews and down-vote any negative reviews.
The investigation by the FTC apparently began with a Reddit post, with a company whistle blower submitting in r/SkincareAddiction, exposing the company’s fraudulent ways and proving receipts to go along with:
Since then the FTC has reportedly proposed a settlement with Sunday Riley that forbids them from posting fake reviews in the future, but unfortunately does not include any refunds or compensation of any kind to customers.
The official FTC complaint: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/192_3008_sunday_riley_complaint.pdf