Apart from perpetuating the 'used car salesman' stereotype, 2Cheap Cars' latest promotional attempt could spectacularly back-fire on them.

2Cheap Cars has repeatedly run into issues with the law. Its latest attempt to try to garner positive reviews could leave it susceptible to court action for breach of New Zealand's Fair Trading Act. 2Cheap is (cheaply) trying to buy good reviews on Google by offering people a $10 supermarket voucher - but only for five-star reviews. 

It is likely that most, if not all, of those reviews will be more glowing than they would have otherwise been, and some are likely to be outright false reviews. 2Cheap might say it can't possibly know that, which might have some merit if it wasn't for the fact that one of the two conditions is that reviewers can only send "one email per review". Clearly, 2Cheap is aware that the voucher is an attractive offer and might lead to customers (even genuine ones) posting more than one review.

Even though New Zealand's Fair Trading Act does not have provisions, such as those found in section 29 of the Australian Consumer Law, expressly prohibiting false and misleading conduct relating to testimonials, 2Cheap's actions would almost certainly be a breach of the broad prohibitions on misleading and deceptive conduct in the Fair Trading Act.

It'll be interesting to see if the Commerce Commission takes issue with the short-lived campaign given 2Cheap Cars' history of run-ins with 'the law'.

It's likely that 2Cheap's latest misfiring campaign was probably innocently devised by someone in its marketing team, but exacerbated because of a lack of processes to pick up issues. Even if no legal action is taken relating to the campaign the reputational damage has already been done, and it is unlikely the public will believe any positive social media reviews about 2Cheap Cars in future. 

This is another example of why it's important to ensure all promotional campaigns, including social media, are subject to appropriate advertising clearance and approval processes.