September 24, 2013
Partner Gonzalo Mon was quoted in the Adweek article "New York Attorney General Uses Fake Yogurt Shop to Crack Down on Fake Online Reviews." The article discusses the New York AG's recent sting against false online ratings, dubbed "Operation Clean Turf," that brought state action against 19 companies that were writing these illegitimate reviews for businesses. It's the largest enforcement action ever taken against the practice of false advertising known as "astroturfing" (the practice of preparing or disseminating a false or deceptive review) by any state or the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC has already brought two cases against these type of agencies under its authority to prohibit false advertising and protect consumers. Gonzalo explained, "It's all part of the same theme. Consumers need to understand what is advertising and what is an independent search or review. FTC is very interested in this; it's a big priority with them."