The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has started a crackdown on social media influencers to identify misleading testimonials and endorsements.
Starting this week the ACCC began a “sweep to identify misleading testimonials and endorsements by social media influencers” adding that it will look at more than 100 influencers mentioned via 150 tip-offs from consumers who responded to an ACCC Facebook post asking for information.
“The number of tip-offs reflects the community concern about the ever-increasing number of manipulative marketing techniques on social media, designed to exploit or pressure consumers into purchasing goods or services,” said ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb.
“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,”
Cass-Gottlieb added: “It is important social media influencers are clear if there are any commercial motivations behind their posts. This includes those posts that are incentivised and presented as impartial but are not. The ACCC will not hesitate to take action where we see consumers are at risk of being misled or deceived by a testimonial, and there is potential for significant harm.”
Advertisers will also be scrutinized by the ACCC which said it is “considering the role of other parties such as advertisers, marketers, brands and social media platforms in facilitating misconduct.”