What Kind of Information Is Found in Consumers Digest?


Quick Answer

Consumers Digest is an American magazine that provides information and recommendations for a wide variety of products. Although the magazine is very similar in name and appearance to non-profit publication Consumer Reports, Consumers Digest, unlike Consumer Reports, does not actually test the products it recommends and receives payment from the companies whose products it endorses in exchange for allowing its awards to appear in manufacturer advertising.

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Full Answer

Consumers Digest was founded in 1960. Early editions provided editorial recommendations for a variety of products, with a focus on automobiles. As of 2015, Consumers Digest publishes recommendations and issues "best buy" awards to products including vehicles, appliances, electronics, and travel, health and financial services. These awards purport to represent the best products in a given category and price range.

The product information published in Consumers Digest is derived from manufacturer claims, not from independent test results. In 2010, Consumers Digest stated that its typical fee for award licensing was $35,000 for the first award licensed to a given manufacturer and $25,000 for each subsequent award. The practice of licensing awards to manufactures for use in advertising in exchange for payment led the Wall Street Journal to suggest that Consumers Digest's recommendations are clouded by the influence of financial remuneration from manufacturers. However, Consumers Digest editors insist that the licensing of awards comes after the review process and that they are not beholden to manufactures when issuing their recommendations.

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