The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has formally banned skincare brand, Sunday Riley, from leaving fake online reviews.
The ban comes after a whistleblower, who claimed to be a former Sunday Riley employee, leaked what appeared to be an internal company email thread on Reddit back in 2018. The email reportedly asked employees to "write at least three reviews" of two Sunday Riley products on Sephora.com.
According to the FTC complaint, they said it included step-by-step instructions on how team members should hide their IP addresses so that the faux reviews wouldn't get traced back to the company's HQ. Employees were allegedly specifically told how to structure their fake reviews so as to seem convincing, and indistinguishable as employees. They were also instructed to "dislike" negative reviews on Sunday Riley products, which, after enough dislikes, would cause the review to disappear.
The agreement between Sunday Riley and the FTC doesn't require the brand to admit to falsifying online product reviews in the past, it only requires that Sunday Riley vow not to do so in the future.