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Monday, February 19, 2024Regulation

Influencers in the sights of the European Commission

Les influenceurs dans le viseur de la Commission européenne

On 14 February 2024, the European Commission has published the results of a screening (“sweep”), carried out in collaboration with national consumer protection authorities of 22 Member States, Norway and Iceland, of social media posts from influencers. Main finding: nearly all (97%) of these influencers post commercial content but only one in five systematically indicate that their content is advertising.

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The objective of the sweep was to verify whether influencers disclose their advertising activities as required under EU consumer law. Posts of 576 influencers published on major social media platforms were checked.
Several influencers were active on different social media platforms: 572 had posts on Instagram, 334 on TikTok, 224 on YouTube, 202 on Facebook, 82 on X (formerly Twitter), 52 on Snapchat, and 28 on Twitch.
The main sectors of activity concerned are, in decreasing order, fashion, lifestyle, beauty, food, travel and fitness/sport.

Findings of the sweep

• 97% published posts with commercial content, but only 20% systematically disclosed this as advertising
• 78% of the verified influencers were exercising a commercial activity; however only 36% were registered as traders at national level
• 30% did not provide any company details on their posts, such as e-mail address, company name, postal address or registration number
• 38% of them did not use the platform labels that serve to disclose commercial content, such as the “paid partnership” toggle on Instagram, on the contrary, these influencers opted for different wording, such as “collaboration” (16%), “partnership” (15%) or generic thanks to the partner brand (11%)
• 40% of the checked influencers made …

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