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Influencers: In the EU's crosshairs for illegal profits – 20 Greeks are also “dusted off”

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<p class=The controls concern a total of 576 “influencers” from all over Europe, while 20 of them come from Greece.

In the pan-European initiative for control with the “sweep” method in all social media platforms to identify “influencers” who carry out commercial activities, promote and advertise products and services of branded companies, the Ministry of Development participated.

The audit, at a pan-European level, as stated in an announcement, took place from October 27, 2023 to November 30, 2023 and involved 22 competent authorities of the member states of the Union. The checks were coordinated by the European Commission through the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network.

In the near future, they will receive a letter from the Ministry of Development with which they will be informed and asked to immediately take the necessary corrective actions so that their activities are adapted to what is provided for by European consumer legislation.

Especially , in the letter that the 20 Greek “influencers” will receive from the Ministry of Development:

– EU legislation is highlighted. as well as the consumer protection law in Greece that applies to the commercial communications of all “influencers”

– the points in the posts of the “influencers” are highlighted, where they need improvement, especially with regard to the cases of disclosure of commercial communication for the purpose of promoting products/services, so that they contribute in this way to the formation of a correct commercial communication with the consumer public, which will be governed by transparency and

– recommendations are proposed for the use of appropriate labeling, given that commercial communication to promote a product or service should be displayed in such a way that it is immediately clear to the consumer that it is an advertising action. In this context, influencers should use the hashtags #advertisement or #advertising or #advertising, as well as the special communication tools available from the platforms themselves: “paid partnership”, “paid partnership”, “paid partnership ', to ensure that the consumer public is aware that the communication to promote a product or service has advertising content.

The results of the checks on the Greek “influencers”

From the check on the Greek “influencers”, it was found, among other things, that while 100% carry out commercial activity, only 25% – and not always in a completely clear way – informs the consumer that the content of the posts has a commercial purpose (eg contains advertisements).

50% do not provide clear information to the consumer regarding their commercial identity, while 50% of those who maintain their own sales websites state that they are registered in the General Commercial Register (GEMI).

Investigation for violations

All the data of the audits carried out will also be forwarded to the competent services of the Independent Public Revenue Authority to identify possible tax violations.

For those cases of “influencers” who have their own sales websites and conclude remote contracts with consumers and for which violations have been found, the administrative sanctions provided for by the consumer legislation will be imposed.

< strong>Surveys in Europe

-Of the 97% of verified “influencers” whose content of posts is commercial, only 20% inform the consumer with clear phrases that these are announcements of an advertising or commercial nature.

– 78% of the “influencers” carry out a commercial activity, however only 36% of them are registered in a commercial register in their country, to the extent that this is provided for by the national legislation of the member state.

-In percentage 30% of influencers do not provide complete information about their company, such as trade name, geographic address, email address, or even registration number.

-38% do not use the special notification tools available from the platforms, such as the “paid partnership” indicator on Instagram, in their posts. Instead, they choose a different wording, such as “collaboration” (16%), “partnership” (15%) or other, general thanks to the companies (brands) they worked with (11%).

< p>-40% of “influencers” keep the commercial disclosure visible throughout the commercial communication.

-34% of “influencers” list the disclosures in a way that they are immediately visible, without requiring additional steps from the consumer, such as a click on the “read more” indicator or going to the bottom of the page.< /p>

-40% of “influencers” display and promote their own products and services. However, 60% of them do not provide clear and unambiguous information that this is a commercial activity and promotion of their own products.

As a result of the EU Sweep 2023, of the 576 “influencers” checked in the 1st phase, the 358 influencers are subject to further investigation by national consumer law enforcement authorities.

Influencers and consumers can be informed by the Influencer Legal Hub website/information library ) of the European Commission, which includes, among other things, a series of educational videos and information from various sources that present legal obligations, fair commercial practices and applicable European standards for consumer protection.

source: in.gr

Source: 24h.com.cy

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