Reviews.com

September 30th, 2019

As the URL implies, reviews.com is a website with reviews. Among the products surveyed on the site: auto insurance, cat trees, ellipticals, food processors, juicers, Nerf guns, vacuum cleaners (to clean up the damage caused by said Nerf guns) and wireless routers.

But perhaps the site should be called reviews-that-might-not-be-as-objective-as-you-think.com as some (the majority?) of the products reviewed make the site money.

A disclaimer at the top of review pages states:

All products and services mentioned on Reviews.com are chosen by our editorial staff. If you click on a link, we may earn a commission.

Meanwhile, a financial disclosure at the bottom of review pages touches on the methodology behind the review process (emphasis added):

Our writers and editors create all reviews, news, and other content to inform readers, with no influence from our business team.

Last week, at the National Advertising Division’s annual conference, the moderator of a panel on “monetized” content called this the “BuzzFeed defense” — a reference to a 2018 NAD decision that focused on the motivation behind the publisher’s Shopping Guides, which, like the content on reviews.com, contain affiliate links.

But as a TINA.org staffer wrote in a blog on the NAD decision, which sided with BuzzFeed, it’s rare to find editorial and advertising working completely independently of each other. Case in point: The moderator of the panel at the NAD conference said he has been to BuzzFeed’s offices in New York and “the silos (between editorial and advertising that BuzzFeed represented to NAD) are not visible.”

Find more of our coverage on review sites here.

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