Eg. companies that say "Go leave us a good review on Glassdoor." Or businesses that pay customers to leave good Yelp reviews. Or that pressure employees to get their friends to leave good Yelp reviews.

Are there any jurisdictions where this sort of stuff is illegal? I'm particularly interested in what the law says in the United States.

  • 1
    Possibly related to law.stackexchange.com/questions/16303/…
    – feetwet
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 15:27
  • Seems related, and potentially the same answers, but ultimately, the question is a different one. Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 7:07
  • It is worth recognizing the commonly misunderstood point that there are lots of things that are illegal that are not crimes. Many kinds of conduct are "civil wrongs" that give rise to lawsuits for money damages or to fines or to administrative sanctions without exposing someone to a criminal conviction or incarceration.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 22:26

2 Answers 2



if you’ve given these customers a reason to expect a benefit from providing their thoughts about your product, you should disclose that fact in your ads. For example, if customers are told in advance that their comments might be used in advertising, they might expect to receive a payment for a positive review, and that could influence what they say, even if you tell them that you want their honest opinion.

So basically reviewer has to disclose they were paid or might get paid/win/etc.


It is generally not illegal - the normal name for it is "advertising".

  • FWIW, in the U.S. there is FTC regulation of how you advertise in the case of different kinds of endorsements.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 22:28

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