The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) recently opened a consultation with regard to online reviews.

The background of this consultation is the fact that consumers increasingly let themselves be guided by online reviews, e.g. review sites, bloggers and vloggers. Research in the UK, the USA and Australia show the importance of online reviews. ACM emphasizes that online review tools must be reliable, so consumers are able to make an informed choice and companies can compete in a fair way.

ACM wants to investigate how online review tools are used and whether these tools are reliable.   The consultation involves an online questionnaire which contains questions such as: “How do you assess overall the reliability of online reviews and recommendations”. All interested parties can submit their views. In addition, ACM shall send a separate information request to different Dutch companies and organizations (e.g. advertisers, review websites, marketing agencies and consumer organizations).

The online consultation takes place from 21 June until 8 July 2016. The consultation can be reviewed on the website of the ACM, here (in Dutch only). The outcome of the consultation will be published early next year.