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ACCC continues clampdown on influencers over misleading advertising

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has provided an update on its ongoing scrutiny of misleading influencer endorsements.

The ACCC reviewed 118 influencers on Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch after they were tipped off by consumers. It found that 81 per cent of these influencers made posts that raised concerns for potentially misleading advertising.

Up to 96 per cent of fashion influencers reviewed made such posts. In the gaming and technology sector, the figure was 73 per cent.

“Based on the findings of our sweep, we are concerned that influencers, brands and advertisers are taking advantage of consumers’ trust through hidden advertising in social media posts by influencers,” said ACCC acting chair Catriona Lowe.

The most common issue identified in the sweep was influencers not disclosing brand relationships in their posts, she added.

“We found that many influencers were formatting their posts to hide their advertising disclosure or make it difficult for consumers to notice it.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses must not mislead or deceive consumers. This applies to influencers engaging in trade or commerce, as well as brands and marketers using influencers to advertise online,” Lowe elaborated.

The ACCC is expected to release guidance in early 2024 to remind influencers and businesses of their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.

Further reading: Dell fined $10 million for misleading consumers over monitor discounts

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