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Influencers, only 1 in 5 respects the law

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Influencers, only 1 in 5 respects the law

Everyone does it, the vast majority don’t say it. According to the investigation conducted by European Commission and the national consumer protection authorities of 22 Member States, Norway and Iceland, out of a sample of posts on social media by 576 influencers, almost all (97%) publish commercial content, but only 20% systematically indicate that it is advertising content. One in five.

Furthermore, products and services for sale. 78% of verified profiles carry out a commercial activity, but only 36% are registered as traders nationwide. Furthermore, 30% did not provide any company details on their posts, such as email address, company name, mailing address or registration number. 38% of influencers did not use platform labels that serve to reveal commercial content, such as the “paid partnerships” toggle on Instagram.

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Instead, these influencers opted for different wording, such as “collaboration” (16%), “partnership” (15%) or generic thanks to the partner brand (11%). The survey also shows 40% of the digital entrepreneurs monitored made the information visible during the entire commercial communication. 34% of profiles made the disclosure immediately visible without the need for additional steps, while 40% “endorsed” their products, services or brands.

Following the sweeping investigation, 358 influencers from the initial sample were selected for further investigations: the national authorities will contact them to ask them to respect the rules in force, country by country. «With the enormous development of social media platforms, the influencer business has become a real industry. Today most earn money thanks to what they publish – he commented Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice -. Our findings show, however, that this is not always reported to followers, over whom influencers wield great power and many of whom are minor. I ask them to be much more transparent towards their audience.”

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