The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into influencer marketing to assess whether social media stars are being transparent about sponsored posts.
As part of the investigation, the CMA has written to a range of celebrities and social media influencers to gain further insight into the inner workings that goes on behind the posts.
Recent years have seen a spike in the number of celebrities and influencers being tapped by companies as part of their marketing strategy. Under a 2008 law for consumer protection, paid editorial content to promote a product should always be clearly identifiable by the consumer as a promotion.
The CMA says is has already seen examples of influencers not clearly stating they have been paid to promote a product of offering a positive personal opinion without pointing out that it’s a paid promotion.
The call comes amid mounting concerns about the influencer marketing industry. The ad regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority has previously investigated the market over concerns that ads aren’t properly labelled.
A spokesperson for the ASA, said: “The issue of ad disclosure in social media and dealing fairly and transparently with consumers and followers is an important one. We launched our call for evidence into online labelling earlier this year as the first part of a project exploring people’s ability to recognise online ads as ads, including by how they are labelled.
“We’ll be reporting more on this in the autumn.”