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Antitrust, investigation on influencers for hidden advertising

Byeditorial

May 31, 2021

Antitrust investigation on influencers for hidden advertising. In fact, the Italian Competition Authority continues its activities to combat hidden forms of advertising on social media with the launch of a new investigation procedure against the company Bat Italia SpA and the influencers Stefano De Martino, Cecilia Rodriguez and Stefano Sala. The Authority disputes the dissemination on the Instagram profile of these influencers, linked by a commercial relationship with Bat Italia SpA, of posts containing an invitation to followers to publish content with tags and hashtags linked to the advertising campaign of the Glo Hyper product, a device for the heated tobacco produced and marketed by the company. The exhortation of De Martino, Rodriguez and Sala appears aimed at multiplying the posts that refer to the Glo Hyper brand on Instagram, in order to promote the visibility of the device, in line with the commercial relationship that binds the influencers to the brand owner. The advertising effect obtained by professionals – and deriving from brand tags and hashtags – is however not recognizable in its commercial nature because there are no graphic or textual warnings that allow identification of the promotional purpose. On Thursday, May 27, inspections were carried out at the Bat headquarters with the help of the Special Antitrust Unit of the Guardia di Finanza. marketing strategies adopted on social media, aims to target apparently neutral and disinterested communications but in reality instrumental to promoting a product and, as such, capable of influencing consumer choices. The Authority has repeatedly recalled – in previous investigative and moral suasion interventions relating to various forms of hidden advertising on social media – that advertising must be clearly recognizable and has established that the general prohibition of hidden advertising has general scope and must therefore also be applied to communications disseminated by influencers through social networks.

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  1. editorial says:

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