Why It Matters

Consumer Reports No Commercial Use Policy: How It Works & Why It Matters
Objective, impartial testing, reviews, and ratings lie at the heart of consumer choice—and at the heart of Consumer Reports. Since our founding in 1936, Consumer Reports has had a no commercial use policy restricting the use of its name or its content in advertising. This stemmed from a belief we still hold today: that consumers should enjoy the full context of our information and not hear about our ratings and reports through the language of salesmanship.

In the decades since our founding, several innovations—including the creation of the Internet and the rise of social media, to name two—have made it critical for us to evolve to maximize the reach of our content and distribute it to consumers at their point of decision. To that end, we do allow the following:

  • We encourage linking through websites or social media to any of our free content.
  • We welcome retweeting, tweeting us @ConsumerReports, use of hashtags, links, and other sharing through social media as long as the social media activity is not sponsored or paid.
  • We allow one-time, non-commercial use of our videos, which can be done by linking to or embedding the video from our Consumer Reports website (ConsumerReports.org) or our Consumer Reports YouTube channel.
  • We do allow the purchase of reprints, e-prints, single copies of our publications, and bulk sales of subscriptions of our products. We also allow the licensing of our content, including videos. For more information, please submit requests to CRreprints.com.
  • For questions about non-commercial, educational/academic uses of our content, please submit requests to CRreprints.com.

What We Don’t Grant Permission to Do

  • Use our name, ratings, or information in paid advertising or press releases. It is critical that consumers experience Consumer Reports’ content through our independent, objective voice.
  • Excerpt our content in any way. Consumers should always have the full context of the information we provide.

All of Our Content Distribution Activities Are Driven by the Following Principles

  • Consumer Reports is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to a safer, fairer, and healthier marketplace for all consumers. All decisions made by the organization are driven by the consumer interest.
  • We want to reach a wide and diverse number of audiences. People consume information through multiple channels, and to that end, we want to be present on those channels in order to meet them where they are.
  • We embrace new and emerging technologies and platforms as a way of increasing the reach of our information for the benefit of consumers.
  • Granting permission to distribute our content does not constitute an endorsement of any product or service.

Read the Policy

Consumer Reports' mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To accomplish that mission, Consumer Reports relies in large part on our reputation for independence, integrity, and impartiality. Consumer Reports' No Commercial Use policy is intended to preserve that reputation, and to protect our rights as a publisher and information provider.

The Policy Is as Follows
Published information from Consumer Reports, including our Ratings and Reports, is intended solely for the benefit of our subscribers and other consumers, in order to help them make informed choices and decisions about consumer products, services, and other consumer matters. Such information may not be used by others in advertising or to promote a company's product or service. In addition, this policy precludes any commercial use of any of Consumer Reports' published information in any form, or of the names of Consumers Union, Consumer Reports, or any other of Consumer Reports' publications or services, without our express written permission. This policy applies not only to publications and services appearing under the title “Consumer Reports” but also other titles, products or services offered by Consumer Reports, regardless of medium.

Notwithstanding the above, this policy does not preclude anyone from purchasing and distributing full issues of Consumer Reports magazine or reprints and e-prints of Consumer Reports articles in their entirety, as well as purchasing bulk subscriptions of Consumer Reports magazine or ConsumerReports.org website. Nor does it preclude sharing editorial content in its entirety through social media channels, such as retweeting and linking, provided such use does not violate Consumer Reports’ legal, moral or other rights. In addition, Consumer Reports may license its editorial content to third parties subject to written agreement and for purposes of assisting consumers at their point of decision. Such editorial content may include articles, videos and related data, provided such data is appropriately contextualized, as determined by Consumer Reports.

It is important to Consumer Reports that third party use of our content (1) not erroneously or misleadingly suggest CR affiliations with or endorsements of any reviewed product or service that in fact do not exist; (2) not excerpt or condense any CR editorial content so as, for example, to lose context, but rather to reproduce or otherwise point to that content in its entirety; (3) not excerpt or condense any CR editorial content so as to alter Consumer Reports’ meaning, implication or intent, or to otherwise render such content misleading or deceptive; and (4) not present CR editorial content in a way that might be confused with or indistinguishable from the user’s own content.

Unauthorized use of our material may violate multiple legal rights of Consumer Reports. All of Consumer Reports' products are fully protected under the United States Copyright Laws, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq., and unauthorized copying of, or quoting from, our materials is strictly prohibited. Consumer Reports® and other trademarks of our organization are federally registered trademarks. Advertising that deceptively or falsely misrepresents our findings, or that creates confusion, infringes on our rights under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C., §§1051 et seq. Such advertising may also contravene our rights under state laws prohibiting false advertising and other unfair trade practices.

Furthermore, under §397 of the New York State General Business Law, the use of the names or published results of a nonprofit testing organization, such as Consumer Reports, for advertising or trade purposes is strictly prohibited without obtaining prior written consent.

If Consumer Reports learns that this policy has been violated, it will take all steps necessary to prevent the misuse of its names or of any of its materials, including legal action where appropriate.

October 2015

Report a Violation

Consumer Reports does not allow its content to be excerpted or used in paid advertising or sponsored placement. If you encounter a television, print, or radio ad from a company that directly mentions Consumer Reports or our ratings, please submit that information.