So now bloggers can be sued for bad reviews?

posted on: Monday, 21 July 2014


This is quite simply unbelievable. 

Over the weekend, Signature 9 brought to our attention the story of a food blogger who was being fined $3400 for writing a bad review of a restaurant. So much for freedom of speech eh?

The story goes a little something like this. Blogger has dinner in said restaurant and feels it was so terrible they should let the general public know that this is not the restaurant to visit while you are in the Southwest of France for the weekend. Naturally she takes to her blog, writes a review outlining all the things that were terrible, from the food to the service, and moves on her merry way. 

Well, seeing as the blog has some good mojo with Google, the review was coming up quite high in search results when folks were looking into the restaurant. The French restaurant alleged that the review in Google search was hurting their business. Gee, seems the bad food and bad service would have been doing that all on it's own, people. 

Instead of changing their ways and inviting the blogger back to experience an updated and improved service, the restaurant took to the courts. The French courts then saw it fit to fine the blogger $3,400, which slaps her wrist for writing the review and has her paying off the restaurant for damages done. Say what?

Well, funny how the internet has a way of bringing all these things to light. Now the restaurant, which I'm not naming as I don't feel like hiring a lawyer, has officially been slammed by everyone from Trip Advisor to The Daily Mail.

So what' s the lesson here? If you have a bad review - think about contacting the blogger or journalist and asking them to come again and help you correct your problem. Take it as constructive criticism and fix the issues. If the blogger was unjust in their review, counter the attack and invite a plethora of bloggers into your restaurant to dine and review to get those search results spinning. Ugh. This is PR 101, restaurant dudes.

(PS -the picture used above is from a forthcoming review... which is certainly not negative... best waffles ever!)

1 comments:

  1. I'm baffled by this. I run a food blog (on top of all the other blogs...) and I've written one bad review. Simply because I went to the same restaurant three times and it was bad every time. I felt like it was my duty to share that with my readers. I believe there's now a whole restaurant chain in Norfolk that wouldn't touch me with a barge pole!

    I think the blog got sued because the post ranked above the restaurant's own content so instead of being seen as simply information for readers/travellers it was seen as actively damaging the restaurant's reputation. Although, as you said, they've definitely done more damage themselves by suing a blogger over a bad review!

    Jx - www.feelingstylish.co.uk

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