On Friday, the Australian consumer watchdog announced that the vast majority of social media posts by Australian influencers may have breached advertising standards that require disclosure of payment. The watchdog is currently considering taking enforcement action, as was reported by Reuters.
In Australia, advertisers must disclose any commercial arrangements and indicate clearly when a piece of content is an advertisement under a self-regulated system.
Despite this, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has found that influencers often lack an incentive to disclose sponsored content since their primary selling point is their authentic tone.
Influencers often receive compensation for promoting or endorsing products or services in their posts, and these promotions are not always disclosed to their followers.
In many countries, advertising regulations require that any paid promotion or endorsement must be clearly disclosed to the audience, so that viewers can understand that the post is sponsored content rather than a genuine, unbiased opinion.
Some influencers may make false or misleading claims about products or services they are promoting, or fail to disclose potential conflicts of interest. This can be particularly concerning when it comes to beauty and products, where false or misleading claims could potentially harm consumers.