Battle with TripAdvisor won but the war goes on

10 February 2012 by
Battle with TripAdvisor won but the war goes on

The results of the Advertising Standards Agency's (ASA) adjudication on whether TripAdvisor's advertising slogans such as the now defunct "reviews you can trust" were misleading are finally here, and the online reviews site has ended up with a bit of a bloody nose.

The ASA has instructed TripAdvisor not to "claim or imply" that all the reviews on its site are from real travellers, nor that they are all "honest, real or trusted".

It was no surprise that TripAdvisor didn't agree with the findings, which it regards as a "highly technical view" of some of last year's marketing copy. But the defensive tone of its response suggests that the ASA ruling has still smarted a bit.

Then again, it is probably too early for those businesses out there who feel they have been the victims of false or malicious reviews on the site - and there are plenty of those - to start celebrating.

After all, this ruling only affects the way in which TripAdvisor can advertise itself to consumers. In every other respect - including the processes it uses to detect fraudulent content - it is business as usual. And of course, this won't have much bearing on any of the businesses which are currently grappling to have a review they dislike or disagree with removed from the site.

Those who wish to see a greater level of accountability at TripAdvisor may have won this battle, but the war will no doubt rage on.

By Neil Gerrard

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