On 14 February 2024, the European Commission published the results of a screening, known as a “sweep”, of social media posts from influencers that it had carried out together with the national consumer protection authorities of 22 Member States – including Malta –as well as those in Norway and Iceland.

The results are out…and perhaps they are hardly surprising. Whilst 97% of influencers were found to publish posts with commercial content, only 20% systematically disclosed these posts as advertising. 38% did not use platform labels to disclose commercial content (for instance the “paid partnership” label on Instagram) but preferred to use wording such as “collaboration”, “partnership” or give generic thanks to the brand in question.

Such conduct is in breach of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directives, which is implemented into national rules; locally the provisions have been transposed into the Consumer Affairs Act.

Following this sweep, 358 influencers will be facing further investigation by national authorities, with the possibility of enforcement action. The European Commission has indicated that it will also consider the results of the sweep in the light of the legal obligations of platforms under the Digital Services Act.

This document does not purport to give legal, financial or tax advice. Should you require further information or legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Annalies Muscat.



This article was originally published on the Mamo TCV Advocates website on the 29th February 2024.

You can find it here https://www.mamotcv.com/insights/most-influencers-do-not-disclose-commercial-content/