The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has initiated proceedings to clarify the issue of cryptocurrency used by Influencers. The proceedings were to clarify whether sponsored content, posted on blogs, Instagram or Facebook, is labelled correctly? Is the labeling of advertising collaborations misleading to consumers?
The consumer has the right to accurate information regarding the products in question and the reason why the Influencer is recommending the product.
Who is Influencer?
An influencer is a person who has an impact in the world of social media and is able to influence people because of their reach. Often this term is used to describe online influencers who have a large social media presence and who have a large audience. Such individuals often make numerous collaborations, take part in marketing campaigns, advertise various products and thus influence the behavior of their audience.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which brands establish cooperation with a selected Influencer and through them and with the use of social media advertise their services or goods. The advertisement of a given product is included in materials created and published by the Influencer. This way Influencer influences consumers’ opinion about brand, product or given service.
An entity interested in working with an Influencer should know the reality of the work of Influencers because they are people we can see as artists/creators. Very often the work that Influencers do is creative work and requires a lot of time and dedication. They often create creative photos, videos, blog posts/vlogs. Creating a piece of content requires a lot of dedication and solid preparation. It is important to make the Influencer comfortable with his work, give him time to get to know the product. It is also important to get to know his profile and the content he publishes. The presentation of a given product, in order for it not to be a strictly advertisement, cannot impose only the wishes of the commissioning entity, i.e. the presentation of a given product.
The product should be delivered to the Influencer early enough for the Influencer to see how it works, to test it, to be able to express their opinion, and not just to meet the expectations of the outsourcer.
The best solution for both parties is, of course, to sign an agreement, the content of which should precisely define the obligations of the parties and the details of cooperation.
Each time Influencers should appropriately mark the content of materials which are made within the framework of cooperation. The marking of the materials has to be clearly recognizable – so that every person who watches such content knows that it is a paid advertisement.
Content tagging can be done through relevant hashtags, such as: #collaboration, #advertising, #advertisingmaterial #postsponsored.
In many Influencers’ accounts, you may notice the designation: #ad. It is controversial because not all people watching the material may know what it means. From English it is an abbreviation of the word: advertainment, which means an advertising message.
In Poland, such labeling is not prohibited, but it may be controversial and challenged in an inspection by a competent authority. It should be noted, however, that most Influencers know their audience and are able to deduce whether a given designation will be sufficiently understood by their community.
The recipient has the right to know whether a social media post, report or video is a paid advertisement or perhaps just an Influencer’s opinion, issued without any marketing support.
The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection continues to point out that marking advertising content with abbreviations in the form of #ad or the name #cooperation alone is not sufficient, and placing the signs at the very end, or in a poorly visible place, may constitute a practice that misleads recipients.
While the #co-op designation is appropriate, it should include an additional designation as advertising or sponsored.
The topic gained popularity when the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection issued six decisions to punish influencers for not cooperating with the UOKiK. The fines totaled 139,000.
The investigation was aimed at examining the marking of commercial content on social media, verifying the correctness of advertising marking, collecting information on the functioning of the industry, checking the terms of cooperation with advertisers or marketing agencies.
The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has now charged other Influencers in the fitness industry in connection with the improper tagging of advertising content on Instagram. The allegation relates to the ambiguous tagging of advertising material on Instagram.
Benefits of cooperation with brands
The use of current methods of cooperation with Influencers by well-known brands has gained popularity. The cost of such cooperation is significantly less than running paid, large advertising campaigns. Similar collaborations create many opportunities and are a great way to develop a brand.
It is worth using current advertising methods and expand your business. However, one should remember to agree on all terms and conditions of cooperation before starting it and preferably in writing. Brands and Influencers should also remember to comply with laws and regulations that govern certain issues of promotion or advertising of relevant products.
The President of UOKiK also emphasised that creators and advertisers should work together to ensure that content labels are clear and distinct. Influencers are also entrepreneurs with responsibilities related to, among other things, providing explanations to the relevant Authorities. Not only Influencers are responsible in this respect, but also advertisers. Therefore, it is worth having appropriate knowledge in order not to expose oneself to potential penalties.
The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has announced that he is already finalising recommendations for the labelling of advertising material by Influencers on social media. This material should make it easier to comply with the current law.
The first materials and guidance can also be found on the OCCC’s Instagram account, where it was pointed out what hashtags are insufficient to mark ads.
While preparing this material I used, inter alia, the Guide to Influencer Marketing cz.I iab.polska, which is worth reading in its entirety, as well as information published on the uokik.gov.pl website.
If you wish to dispel any doubts, feel free to contact me.26 lipca, 2022 Brak komentarzy