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, current (within last three years) content using neutral language. Here are two examples:
"See what Consumer Reports says about ______.”
“The ___ was recently featured in Consumer Reports.”
- 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 the CR Recommended mark, 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. The use of Consumer Reports' logo is only permitted as an integrated part of our licensed content. For more information, please submit requests to consumerreports.org/licensing.
- For questions about non-commercial, educational/academic uses of our content, please submit requests to consumerreports.org/licensing.
- Excerpt our content in any way. Consumers should always have the full context of the information we provide.
- Discuss the specific rating. You cannot list a product as “Rated #1 by Consumer Reports” or “Rated #1 by a leading consumer publication.”
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.
As an independent, nonprofit organization, Consumer Reports' mission is to work side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. To accomplish that mission, CR relies in large part on our reputation of integrity and impartiality in the rigorous research, consumer insights, journalism, and policy expertise we deliver to inform purchase decisions, improve the products and services that businesses deliver, and drive regulatory and fair competitive practices. CR’s No Commercial Use Policy is intended to preserve that independent reputation and to protect our rights as a publisher and information provider.
The Policy is as follows:
No Commercial Use
Published information from Consumer Reports, including our Ratings and Reports, is intended solely for the benefit of our members and other consumers, in order to help them make informed choices and decisions about consumer products and services. Such information may not be used by others in advertising or to promote a company's product or service, without our express written permission. In addition, this policy precludes any commercial use of the names of Consumers Union or Consumer Reports, or any other trustmark of Consumer Reports, without our express written permission. This policy applies not only to publications and services appearing under the title “Consumer Reports” but also to 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 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’ contractual, legal or equitable rights. In addition, Consumer Reports may license its editorial content and published recommendations to third parties subject to written agreement for the purpose of assisting consumers at their point of decision. Such editorial content may include trustmarks, articles, videos and related data, provided such data is appropriately contextualized as determined by Consumer Reports.
Restrictions on Permitted Uses
Third-party use of our content and recommendations shall not: (1) erroneously or misleadingly suggest Consumer Reports' endorsements of any reviewed product or service that in fact do not exist; (2) excerpt or condense any Consumer Reports editorial content or published recommendations so as to lose context or alter Consumer Reports’ meaning or intent; or (3) present Consumer Reports 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.