European Commission Study Exposes Majority of Social Media Influencers for Failing to Disclose Paid Content

A recent study conducted by the European Commission highlights a concerning trend among social media influencers, with the majority failing to disclose paid content. This omission not only contravenes advertising guidelines but also raises legal implications for both influencers and the brands they promote.

European Union regulations mandate influencers to maintain transparency in their posts, ensuring they do not disseminate false or deceptive information about products or services. Specifically, influencers must disclose any financial or non-monetary benefits received from endorsing a brand's offerings.

The study examined posts from 576 influencers across major social media platforms and uncovered significant deficiencies. While nearly all influencers (97%) shared content with commercial intent, only a minority 2 in 10 (or 20 percent to be exact) consistently disclosed the promotional nature of their posts.

A notable portion (30%) omitted essential company details, such as contact information or registration particulars. Furthermore, a considerable percentage (38%) failed to utilize platform-provided disclosure tools, opting for ambiguous terms like "collaboration" or "partnership."

Moreover, a substantial proportion (40%) did not ensure continuous visibility of disclosure throughout their commercial communications, while a significant fraction (34%) did not prominently display the disclosure, necessitating additional steps for viewers.

Of particular concern is the revelation that among influencers marketing their own products, a majority (60%) neglected to consistently disclose the advertising nature of their content. In response, the European Commission emphasized the importance of transparency in commercial communications, stressing that EU consumer law mandates transparency to prevent consumer deception regarding promoted products or services. Any endorsement of a brand's offerings in exchange for influencer benefits must be unequivocally disclosed as advertising. Additionally, influencers marketing their own products or services must fulfill the same legal obligations as online retailers, including providing consumers with requisite guarantees and withdrawal rights.

These findings underscore the imperative for influencers to adhere to regulatory requirements and uphold consumer trust through transparent communication practices.

Image: Digital Information World - AIgen

Read next: This Banking Malware Targets European Android Users, Sneaking Through Google Play Apps, Affecting Up to 200K Users
Previous Post Next Post