A skincare startup was ordered by the Federal Trade Commission Monday to stop leaving fake reviews of their products on Sephora’s webpage in an effort to boost sales, a report said.
In the agreement with the FTC, Texas-based skincare company Sunday Riley agreed to not leave fake reviews on Sephora’s website in the future — but the company did not have to admit it did so in the past, BuzzFeed News reported.
The FTC accused Sunday Riley employees of leaving fake, positive, reviews of their products for two years — from 2015 to 2017 — in an effort to increase sales on their site.
“Sunday Riley Skincare managers, including Respondent Sunday Riley, posted reviews of Sunday Riley brand cosmetic products on the Sephora website using fake accounts created just for that purpose, or requested that other employees do so,” the FTC complaint read, according to BuzzFeed.
As part of the alleged scheme, CEO Sunday Riley told staffers to leave reviews that were “very enthusiastic without looking like a plant,” according to the report.
She also instructed them to “dislike” negative reviews of their products, which would cause the review to disappear.
Under the agreement, employees of the company cannot leave a review of the products online without revealing they are a biased employee of the company.