FTC orders PR firm to take down fake iTunes reviews

Snitker also took exception to the labeling of the reviews as "fake," noting her team members purchased the games and posted the reviews of their own accord.

"Bottom line, these allegations are old, this situation was settled awhile ago and had nothing to do with the clients that many outlets have been reporting. The FTC has continuously made statements that the reviews are 'fake reviews' something we question; if a person plays the game and posts one review based on their own opinion about the game should that be constituted as 'fake?'"

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Reverb and its owner agree to remove all iTunes reviews that were written by employees of the company but presented as ordinary user feedback. The FTC accused Reverb of posting the reviews on games created by its clients between November 2008 and May 2009.

The agreement also bars Reverb and Snitker from misrepresenting themselves as ordinary consumers and endorsing any product or service unless they disclose all relevant connections they have with the seller. The FTC approved the settlement unanimously; it will now be subject to public comment for 30 days, after which the FTC will decide whether to make it final.