TikTok tricksters: ACCC targets dodgy influencers in social media sweep

About 100 influencers were the key focus of a “sweep” started this week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to identify misleading testimonials and endorsements.

Jan 27, 2023, updated Jan 27, 2023
The ACCC will conduct a sweep on social media sites

The ACCC will conduct a sweep on social media sites

The consumer watchdog said it had received about 150 tip-offs which mentioned more than 100 influencers, mostly in the beauty and lifestyle sectors but also parenting, fashion, gaming, technology, food and beverage and travel.

The investigation would investigate whether the influencers disclosed their affiliation with the product or company they were promoting.

The sweep will include TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat and the livestreaming service, Twitch.

ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said the number of tip-offs reflected community concern about the “ever increasing number of manipulative marketing techniques of social media”.

She said these techniques were designed to exploit or pressure consumers into purchasing goods and services.

“We want to thank the community for letting us know which influencers they believe might not be doing the right thing,” she said.

“Already, we are hearing some law firms and industry bodies have informed their clients about the ACCC’s sweep and reminded them of their advertising disclosure requirements.”

She said more Australians were choosing to shop online and they often relied on reviews and testimonials when making decisions.

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“The ACCC will not hesitate to take action where we see consumers are at risk of being misled or deceived by a testimonial and there is potential for significant harm,” Cass-Gottlieb said.

“Many consumers are aware that influencers receive a financial benefit for promoting products and services. However, the ACCC remains concerned that influencers, advertisers and brands try to hide this fact from consumers, which prevents them from making informed choices.”




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