The Australian consumer watchdog gets tough with social media influencers

ACCC to identify misleading testimonials and endorsements by social media influencers
02 February 2023
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) put social media influencers on notice last week, revealing fears shoppers are being misled by “manipulative” marketing tactics.

 ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said the regulator was undertaking a sweep of popular social media platforms to identify where influencers were falling foul of deceptive advertising rules, particularly those failing to tell their audiences that they are being paid to promote products.

Most of the tip-offs from members of the public were about influencers in beauty and lifestyle, as well as parenting and fashion, failing to disclose their affiliation with the product or company they are promoting. The ACCC is responding to community concern about the increasing number of manipulative marketing techniques on social media, designed to exploit or pressure consumers into purchasing goods or services.

Ms Cass-Gottlieb said: “Already, we are hearing some law firms and industry bodies have informed their clients about the ACCC’s sweep, and reminded them of their advertising disclosure requirements.”

The sweep is being run over the coming weeks as part of the ACCC’s compliance and enforcement priorities for 2022/23, with the broad aim of identifying deceptive marketing practices across the digital economy.

- CyberBeat


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