Consumer Reports publications have always positioned themselves as above the commercial fray, accepting no advertising and no free products in their aim to provide purely impartial product reviews.
So we’re watching carefully CR’s new partnership with search engine Decide.com for a section of the CR Web site called "Deals of The Day," featuring products "recommended by Consumer Reports [that] have recently dropped to their lowest-ever prices at the indicated retailers according to Decide's price data" -- complete with links to the deals.
There are not one, but two, disclaimers about how purely informational and noncommercial the whole things is: "Neither Consumer Reports nor Decide receive anything in exchange for featuring these deals… These posts are not an endorsement of the Web sites that sell them...”
Is CR nervously clearing its throat here, knowing that it may be walking a fine line closer to ecommerce? Sure, this deal is not exactly Groupon-like -- but by providing links to retailers, is CR enabling consumer purchases in a way it’s never done before? We wonder.