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Cromwells Shrewsbury. Tripadvisor, there to eat in Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury business leads rally against TripAdvisor

Mike Avery, owner of Shrewsbury's long established wine bar and restaurant, Cromwell's, has catapulted into the national headlines today as a leading voice against the review site TripAdvisor, providing evidence of the anxiety it causes within the hospitality sector to the US Trade Commission. Featured on ITV's 'This Morning' show under an hour ago, Mike explained how TripAdvisor directly and dramatically affected his trade:

"My wife and I have put our heart and souls into building up the Cromwell's business and reputation and then we suffered from vile and malicious reviews on TripAdvisor. It was devastating, we didn't sleep for 48 hours, a member of staff left and my wonderful kitchen team were so depressed and demoralised as a result. Thankfully, Shrewsbury is a unique and incredible place and other fellow businesses were equally horrified by the posts and really rallied round to support us. Eventually we took the complaints to West Mercia Police who helped and investigated under the Communications Act and eventually the damaging reviews were taken down and we bounced back, and continue to invest in our business."

Kirsten Henly, manager of Shrewsbury BID which brings together hundreds of businesses in the town centre to promote and manage the town and its offer, says Mike has shown the importance of collaborative action, even on large, international industry issues:

"We have a strong hospitality sector here and Mike's experience really underlines the solidarity we have in Shrewsbury. The passion and expertise of our independent business owners and managers are what make our town a unique place to trade and live.

"Mike's voice is helping others who suffer at the hands of these anonymous reviewers. Following his complaint about TripAdvisor to the EU Commission and the US Trade Commission, he will be giving evidence to a hearing in Washington, representing Shrewsbury and all the hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes here on an international platform."

Mike concluded: "TripAdvisor is a blog site masquerading as a professional review site. A good idea badly executed."