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TripAdvisor rapped by ASA for 'misleading' claims

TripAdvisor rapped by ASA  for 'misleading' claims
Monday February 6 2012

A travel website has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Agency for claims it made about its reviews.

TripAdvisor is a popular site providing user-generated content in which travellers are encouraged to submit reviews of their holiday, especially in relation to accommodation.

However, the ASA was concerned that the website's claims of "reviews you can trust" and "more than 50 million honest travel reviews" could not be verified.

While TripAdvisor users are asked to sign a declaration stating that their reviews are genuine, there is no way for these claims to be substantiated.

Despite the site's vigilant intruder detection and monitoring of "suspicious activity", non-genuine reviews could still be published undetected.

The ASA demanded that TripAdvisor remove all claims that its reviews are "honest", "trustworthy" and "from real travellers".

ASA spokesman Matthew Wilson told the BBC: "This should be regarded as a benchmark ruling which applies to all websites which make claims about the reliability of their online content.