Data: 80% of influencers fail to admit to advertising

Four out of five social media influencers fail to disclose that paid content they post is advertising, as required under EU law, a new report has revealed.

According to a study by the European Union, out of 576 influencers, 97% of them posted commercial content, but only 20% disclosed that it was advertising.


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The study, in partnership with national consumer protection authorities of 22 EU member states alongside Norway and Iceland, compared social media posts on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Snapchat, and Twitch to determine whether influencers were complying with EU consumer law.

The Commission said: “Problematic marketing practices illustrate the importance of having modern robust legislation that is adequate to ensure digital fairness for consumers online.”

Despite the report not naming the influencers, it said 358 of them were earmarked for further investigation.

However, it did reveal the posts were mainly about fashion, beauty, food, travel, lifestyle and fitness, with 119 influencers promoting unhealthy activities, such as junk food, alcoholic beverages, gambling and crypto trading.