The Impact of a Consumer Reports Review

My product is expected to be reviewed in Consumer Reports. Should I be prepared both online and with retailers for a big influx in sales? Also, assuming a positive review, how can we market this information to our retailers and consumers?

If you are expecting a Consumer Reports review to be the tipping point for your business, your expectations are probably set too high. While a positive Consumer Reports review will certainly benefit your brand and your product that is tested (assuming a positive review), it is unlikely Consumer Reports will have a similar effect as “Ophra’s favorite things”.

The response will really vary by product type. If you have a high value product, like a car, flat screen television, video camera, etc., these are planned purchases people tend to research before buying. Therefore, you will not likely see a big spike in sales with a higher value, non-impulse buy product.

If you have a product that is more of an impulse buy or a product that has a shorter life cycle (e.g. a cleaning product, detergent, etc.), you could see a slight bump in sales from the review. But again, don’t expect any miracles here.

We did reach out to two consumer packaged goods companies who were recently featured in the Consumer Reports December 2010 issue and both reported not seeing a major spike in sales. Keep in mind that consumers tend to use Consumer Reports as a resource and save issues for future use. So the impact could occur in small increments over time.

With that being said, you still should be prepared online to handle an increase of sales and let your retailers know you expect your product to appear in Consumer Reports. This will help ensure they are prepared.

It is VERY IMPORTANT to note that Consumer Reports has very strict guidelines about the commercial use of Consumer Reports content. The publication’s website clearly states:

Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumers Union will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

Therefore, it is in your best interest to not advertise or market your Consumer Reports review unless you have spoken with the publication first.

Looking to secure quality and high volumes of media coverage in 2011, contact me at jennifer at or 910.772.1688.

Jennifer Manocchio


After starting her career with Edelman in Chicago, Jennifer joined Sweeney and quickly established herself as an exceptional industry innovator. In 2004, she opened Sweeney’s first full-service office outside of Cleveland and quickly rose through the ranks to become agency president. Jen leads by example and without fear. She has been critical to agency growth throughout the past decade and continues to lead the agency into the future.