- Legit or not

So i see quite often OZB members citing Choice reviews in deals.

I just personally cannot trust this company, How is an Industry funded company in anyway independent??

Some facts:

  • Choice Subscription revenue = $3,750,799
  • Choice staff Salaries = $13,820,446
    = -$10,069,647

So where does the rest of their money come from you ask? from donations by industry.

  • Revenue from provision of other services = $13,866,224

And now you ask, are these companies going to continue to donate stacks of cash if they get bad reviews?
(The answer is no)

I welcome any opposite debate, i could be wrong and some wealthy philanthropist is just giving them 10's of millions of dollar per year because he/she really likes consumers to know which dunny paper is best to wipe an arse.

Other notes:

Choice financial report 2017-18 -

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  • maybe they have to pay a fee to get reviewed by them? Coles Ultra Concentrate laundry powder used to be on the top of the list. Now it's not on there at all.

  • Good point. Thanks for bring this to my attention

  • The most shocking part of this is that they spend $14 million on employees.

    • And some phat bonus's too by the looks?
      Key Management Personnel Compensation $1,577,696

  • They could disclose who the big donors are.

  • Can you show references for those figures?

  • Obviously they are not independent, so arent legit.

  • I don't see anywhere on their site saying they're industry funded. Where did you see that?

    how did you arrive at "Revenue from provision of other services" as being funded by industry?

    All the literature I've read says that they are independent, and buy all the goods at retail price. Having companies pay for favorable reviews would seriously undermine their whole point of being in existence, so I find it hard to believe this would happen.

    • Well that was more my conclusion, where does all this money mysteriously come since its mostly not from the publics paid memberships?

  • Assuming correct I've always felt funny on review sites that get money, as I think theres a bit of pull both ways, so Choice for this example needs to have some respect to their company, if they don't paying for a Choice review is useless because no one believes in it.

    As such both companies and Choice need to be move towards win-win situations I'd imagine, or basically (and I'm just basing this on nothing at all) Choice may be more happier to be paid for a review from a better company/reputable/accurate one, or Choice may talk about things they do know to be true (so base it on things they know will come up positive).

    As you're pointing out though, all this means is that you can make some assumptions on Choice on a product, but expecting it to be a full level playing field is probably a big no.

  • Like Facebook, their income is probably from advertisements.

    • +2 votes

      Financial Report for Choice can be found here. Nearly 3 quarters of their 2018 revenue is from "Revenue from provision of services" (note 2 Page 20). Choice Recommended Licensing scheme is mentioned as one factor in their revenue growth. More info on this Licensing Scheme can be found here.

      • Its all very vague, i think most public financial reports are similar.

        Manufacturers and brands can apply for a non-exclusive licence to use a CHOICE Recommended logo in their marketing, if their product or service is recommended by our experts and published on

        This pretty much sums it up for me, Manufacturers pay them.

        No manufacturer is going to continue paying if they get bad reviews, or maybe they will pay more???

  • +1 vote

    is that you kogan???

  • In areas where I consider myself highly knowledgeable I have found some of their recommendations quite bizarre. I gave up on them about 15 years ago.

    • They usually have a separate article where they explain their testing criteria. There's no way to please everyone and I agree that often my use case doesn't align with what they are looking for.

  • I don't think companies do pay money to Choice, or at least not in the way you suggest, but I don't know the answers to your questions either. Why don't you contact them and ask? they should have no objections to answering. I'd be interested in their reply too….

  • I'm astounded that seemingly nobody has even bothered to contact CHOICE about this. Well, I did and here is the response:

    Thanks for getting in touch and for flagging the conversation in the OzBargain forum.

    The thread from Fincky begins by referring to deferred revenue located on page 23 of the financial report. In accounting, deferred revenue indicates money that is received in advance (in our case, for subscriptions to CHOICE). They then go on to list total revenue as something separate to deferred revenue, which is not correct as it is simply a breakdown of the total revenue.

    'Revenue from the provision of services' shows our total revenue, and our primary 'service' is providing product reviews via subscription to our magazine and/or website. It's incorrect to say the provision of this service is some sort of payment from industry or a philanthropist, and this is made very clear in the report which is available on our website. I've also included some screengrabs from the report for clarity.

    For a more reader-friendly look into funding at CHOICE there is a section on our site about our products and services how CHOICE run and governed. As a large non-profit, we have voting members that elect a board of highly-skilled directors independent to the organisation that ensure the values, mission and strategy of CHOICE is safeguarded. In addition, the board operates under a charter (also publically available on the site) to ensure that the highest standards are upheld.

    Hope that helps put your mind at rest, please let me know if you have any follow up questions, and thanks for your support!


    • This is getting stupid !

      If something sinister was going on do you think they would declare it lol?

      I could have told in advance that Choice response is going to look like non bias clean angel’s because there model depend on that :)

    • Well, nobody? I did too & received no response. The financials are not very specific & the breakdown of subscription vs other income is not current – it is deferred. So we still don’t know the current financial situation.

      • Clear as mud.
        If they are the same, why have Subscription revenue as a separate section as to other revenue?

        Anyway, just remain sceptical and use choice as one part of your research into any particular product.

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