Travel review website TripAdvisor has removed the slogan "reviews you can trust" from its website and replaced it with “reviews from our community”.
The site is currently the subject of an investigation by the advertising watchdog after companies complained that reviews of their businesses were made up or defamatory.
TripAdvisor has more than 50 million reviews of hotels, restaurants and locations, all of which are supposed to have been written by travellers.
But the veracity of reviews has been called into question by a group of 2,000 hoteliers, who approached online reputation management company KwikChex to investigate.
The ASA responded to the concerns raised by KwikChex by announcing a formal investigation on September 1.
TripAdvisor has removed its slogan of "reviews you can trust" – a phrase which formed part of the complaint against the company – from the hotel review section of its site, and replaced it with "reviews from our community".
However, the slogan still remains on the section of the site containing reviews of restaurants and other attractions. The site's claim of "more than 50 million honest travel reviews and opinions from real travellers around the world" also remains.
Now KwikChex has announced that it had found more cases that will add weight to the investigation by the ASA.
"One of the latest such cases brought to our attention may well have been the target of false negative reviews, but was then additionally 'red flagged' by TripAdvisor," said Chris Emmins, co-founder of KwikChex.
"We believe we know the cause of this and can demonstrate not only the falsehood of the accusation by TripAdvisor – but also how this again proves several flaws in their systems."
He added: "Such practices are extremely significant and will add weight to the evidence of abuse and lack of diligence."
TripAdvisor denied that the change of slogan was related to the investigation, and said that the company still strongly promotes ‘trust’ on its website.
“As with all marketing messaging, the wording used on the TripAdvisor site is constantly evolving to reflect different aspects of the business” a spokeswoman said, adding that the changes were carried out between June and August, before the investigation was announced.
“The description of TripAdvisor as a trustworthy source of travel advice and information remains used in other parts of the site, and by example you’ll still see this wording on the homepage.”
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