Richard Edelman and Wal-Mart, Zipatoni and Sony be warned: If you were in Europe, the hand of the law would be upon you. As of the end of this year, businesses who create fake blogs or pretend to be consumers writing rave reviews will be vulnerable to criminal prosecution.
Per The Times: "The change is part of a Europe-wide overhaul of the consumer protection laws. It will oblige businesses not to mislead consumers and also will outlaw aggressive commercial practices such as aggressive doorstep selling, bogus 'closing down' sales and pressurising parents through their children to buy products."
Even authors who review their own books on Amazon.com could be at risk, unless of course, they identify themselves properly.
Funny how ethics and self-regulation just never seem to be enough.