For brands: Incentivised Reviews
Brand Managers may run review incentive campaigns to encourage their customers to write reviews for their products or services. All incentive campaigns require to be compliant with the guidelines set by the ACCC in accordance with the Competition and Consumer Act (2010):
- Incentives are offered equally to consumers likely to be complementary and consumers likely to be critical, and positive and negative reviews are treated the same;
- The reviewer is expressly told that the incentive is available whether the review is positive or negative.
The ACCC guidelines state that where an incentive is offered, it:
“... [must be] prominently disclosed to users who rely on affected reviews.”
To satisfy this condition, a message will be placed on top of your listing with this notice, similar to the one displayed below:
“(Company) is offering (incentive) to their customers to encourage them to write a positive or a negative review between (date) and (date).
It is possible that reviews were written by customers who received such a reward, and may explain a higher volume of reviews. Any incentive must be equally offered to both positive and negative reviews.”
In our finding these notices have not resulted in a decrease in brand reputation, reviews, or page views for any of the listings where the message is displayed. Alongside maintaining compliance, these notices help create a positive impression of credibility and transparency for your brand.
Procedure for incentive campaigns
Starting a campaign
- Ensure that you have processes in place that any incentives are offered equally to positive and negative reviewers.
- Email the Brand Management Platform support channel (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the following information:
- Type of incentive (eg. product, store credit, gift card)
- Individual $ value of incentive
- Terms of incentive (one for each review, competition, etc.)
- Duration of the campaign - indicate whether it will be run indefinitely, otherwise provide a start/end date.
- Our Content Team will process your request, verify that your incentive meets review incentive guidelines, and place your incentive message on your listing(s). You will receive a reply once this is done.
During a campaign
- Any incentive messages will be placed, at a very minimum, for the duration of the incentive period.
- For listings where incentivised reviews contribute a significant portion of a listing, the message will remain indefinitely.
Concluding a campaign
- Email the Brand Management Platform support channel (email@example.com) when concluding or modifying your campaign.
- Incentive messages will still remain on a listing until the number of organic reviews received after an incentive period is greater than the amount of incentivised reviews received within the incentive period.
For example, if a listing has 100 reviews and runs an incentive campaign, receiving 50 reviews. Now totalling 150 reviews, the notice shall remain present until 50 additional 'organic' reviews have been received.
If businesses do not inform ProductReview of incentive campaigns they are running, we reserve the right to place a notice above listings. This is done if we have evidence to support that incentives are being offered.
Our platform & processes detect non-compliant campaigns. In line with our Incentivised Review Policy, any undisclosed, filtered, or unequal incentivised campaigns will be reported to the ACCC, with all associated reviews immediately removed.