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15th Conference of the International Association of Consumer Law main body image

The Oudemanhuispoort building where the conference took place. By Marcel mulder (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 nl via Wikimedia Commons. 

Dr Osuji presents at 15th Conference of the International Association of Consumer Law

Dr Onyeka Osuji presented a paper on ‘Consumer Online Reviews – New Battleground or Opportunity for Consumer Protection?’ 

Running from 29th June - 1st July, the conference was hosted by the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam and was attended by over 250 delegates from all over the world.

In his paper Dr Osuji demonstrated that an emerging and potent nightmare for businesses is online customer reviews, which can be verbal, written, pictorial or video review or assessment of products, services, performance, customer experience and business conduct. The potentially far-reaching adverse effect of unfavourable online customer reviews has encouraged businesses to start designing and implementing preventive, defensive and offensive strategies including contractual non-disparagement clauses. Dr Osuji therefore argued that online customer reviews present fresh challenges to consumer law and existing consumer protection initiatives and techniques.

Having examined some cases and legislative developments in the UK, European Union and the US, Dr Osuji argued that the traditional information and vulnerability consumer protection paradigms might not be suitable for online reviews including balancing consumers’ rights to freedom of expression and association with business interests.

Date: 16 July 2015

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