Consumer Reports' No Commercial Use Policy: ensuring fair, objective, independent reviews
At Consumer Reports, we believe that objective, impartial testing, reviews and Ratings are critically important for consumers. That is why we have a strict "No Commercial Use Policy" preventing the use of our name and information for any promotional or advertising purposes. The policy helps ensure we avoid even the appearance of endorsing a particular product or service for financial gain. The policy also guarantees that consumers have access to the full context of our information and are not hearing about our findings through the language of salesmanship.
Why it's important
For consumers, our No Commercial Use Policy provides peace of mind that the information they are receiving is free of influence, bias or commercial interference.
For manufacturers, service providers and other retailers, adhering to the policy bolsters their own reputation for honesty and integrity. Our more than eight million subscribers to our information products and services recognize and support our organization because it allows them to make their own purchasing decisions based upon expert, independent, unbiased reviews and recommendations.
Encouraging support for the policy
We take all appropriate steps to prevent promotional and advertising use of our materials, our name, or our content. We carefully monitor the use of our trademarks, as well as copyrighted material such as articles, ratings and reviews, in order to preserve our reputation as a source of information not influenced by, or associated with, commercial interests.
Our No Commercial Use Policy has been respected by manufacturers, service providers, retailers, and other commercial interests for decades. Overwhelmingly, once they learn of our Policy, they agree to refrain from advertising or promotional use of our trademarks, Ratings, and materials. Businesses understand that if they violate our No Commercial Use Policy, it may have a serious impact on their own reputation for honesty and integrity (indeed, we have written about violations of our policy in our publications and in some cases, even encouraged consumers to write to those companies expressing their concern and disapproval.) Manufacturers, retailers and other businesses realize that adhering to our No Commercial Use Policy is in the best interest of their customers, the marketplace and their own commercial enterprise.
What you can do: Report a violation!
Our subscribers take this policy as seriously as we do, and we most often learn of violations through our readers. Many of the more than eight million subscribers to Consumer Reports' information products and services are vigilant in reporting violations of our No Commercial Use Policy. Subscribers can become understandably upset at any commercial activity that threatens to damage Consumer Reports' most precious asset - our reputation for integrity, objectivity, and lack of bias.
We encourage consumers, businesses and others to report any apparent commercial, advertising or promotional use of any Consumer Reports content, including its website, ConsumerReports.org, newsletters, Consumer Reports on Health and Consumer Reports Money Adviser, and its sister publication, ShopSmart; to do so, please click here to fill out a report.
We review every reported violation. At Consumer Reports, we are committed to ensuring our No Commercial Use Policy continues to serve consumers.
Any manufacturer, service provider, or retailer should feel free to contact us with questions about the policy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No advertising, no freebies . . . no bias
As a nonprofit organization, we are not beholden to any commercial interest. We accept no free samples, and we pay for all the products and services we test.
We also accept no advertising. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®, ConsumerReports.org®, and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants.