Influencers in the EU who have failed to declared profits made through advertising may be faced with penalties after the European Commission and 22 national authorities with the support of the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network conducted a sweep.

More specifically, a Commission sweep carried out from Oct. 27 to Nov. 30, 2023 which scrutinized posts from 576 influencers across major social media platforms found that a staggering 97% of influencers – including 20 Greeks – featured commercial content but only 20% consistently acknowledged it as advertising.

Other key findings of the EU-wide investigation include:

  •  78% of influencers engaged in commercial activities, but only 36% were registered traders
  •  30% did not provide company details in their posts
  •  38% did not use platform labels to disclose commercial content appropriately
  •  40% of influencers failed to maintain visible disclosure throughout their commercial communication
  •  40% promoted their own products without consistent advertising disclosure
  •  most online influencer activity scrutinized concerned fashion, lifestyle, and beauty sectors
  •  44% of influencers operated personal websites, many of which facilitated direct sales.

Following the investigation, 358 influencers, including 20 in Greece, will be subject to further investigation by national authorities. In Greece, the Development Ministry and the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) will request compliance.

The Commission stresses that the findings highlight the need for clear legislation to safeguard consumers in the digital sphere. The forthcoming Digital Services Act will mandate disclosure of commercial communications, ensuring accountability across online platforms.


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