For 75 years, Consumer Reports has had a no-commercial-use policy that restricts companies from using the results of our tests in product advertising.
But that policy hasn't stopped two companies from pushing the boundaries. In one instance, a popular weight-loss company touted in TV commercials that its diet program had been top ranked in "the nation's leading consumer review magazine." The company was referring to "Diet taste-off" from our February 2011 issue.
Meanwhile, a maker of dishwasher detergents said in a promotion that its product was “Rated #1 by a Leading Consumer Publication” based on our September 2010 review of those cleaners. (For more on this subject, read “Reckitt Ads Feature Consumer Reports Results Despite Ban” on AdAge.com.)
Such violations of our no-commercial-use policy are behind “The Full Story,” the November 2011 installment of From Our President. In that column, Jim Guest, president of Consumer Reports, writes:
That 'no commercial use' policy is important because opening the door for advertisers to cherry-pick snippets of our reports robs consumers of the full story. Equally vital to us is that Consumer Reports is recognized as independent. Unlike some other companies that rate products and services, we aren't paid for positive ratings and don't promote the interests of any company over another.
If you spot a violation of our no-commercial-use policy, inform us by filling out the form here.