First allegations were made against influencers from the fitness industry and their advertisers.
The President of the UOKiK initiated four proceedings, with a complaint against surreptitious advertising. This claim was made to the Olimp Laboratories company which has commissioned advertising of its products to influencers in social media. The company signed agreements with online developers, in which – for posting and reporting on Instagram about products made by the company eg. dietary supplements – the company undertook to pay. In addition, it urged creators to use unclear labelling, which was contrary to the recommendations made by UOKiK. The influencers were meant to mark posts or stories with hashtags such as: #olimpiad, #thenameoftheproduct. We would stress that the combination of the company name and the English abbreviation „AD” – don’t have a lot in common with transparent advertising on the network.
In addition, the President of UOKiK made allegations of ambiguous labelling of advertising materials on Instagram to three influencers from the fitness industry. In their posts, the creators promote the products of various advertisers for remuneration, and they do not mark sponsored content in an unambiguous, legible and understandable manner. They can thus mislead consumers about the nature of the posts or the stories. The initiated proceedings may end with the imposition of penalties for violating collective consumer interests in the amount of up to 10% trading
It is worth remembering that, the hashtags #cooperation and #ad are unclear to users. They are also insufficient when it comes to marking a commercial message. Moreover, placing hashtags at the end of the description, or those that are poorly visible, e.g. hidden under the username, may be a misleading practice.
From September 2021, the President of UOKiK points out that sponsored content on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok posted by influencers should be marked in an unambiguous manner that does not raise doubts among the recipient as to the nature of the post. Practice shows, however, that among advertisers and influencers who are entrepreneurs, you can still find ones with an improper approach to their duties.