ACCC internet sweep about to shake things up online: What’s in store for business and influencers

Lit Agency - Diane Markovski on ACCC sweep

“Influencers and businesses alike need to review their practises and improve their compliance with the Australian Consumer Law.”

By Diane Markovski, founder of Lit Agency

The ACCC internet sweep and what this means from a brand perspective and as an influencer is yet to be seen. Social media, since the launch of Facebook, has been a grey area when it comes to giveaways, some ads, and, you guessed it, influencers and what can and can’t be claimed. The ACCC in December performed internet sweeps of social media influencer accounts and the online reviews provided on business pages.

What’s standing out more than ever is that influencers and businesses alike need to review their practises and improve their compliance with the Australian Consumer Law to ensure that those visitors to their pages are receiving trustworthy information online.

We know and can see that influencers sit in a position of influence among those followers who find them relatable and genuine, who look to them with a level of trust, and who will buy or do what their influencer recommends.

The report showed 118 social media influencer accounts were, in fact, pulled up to be reviewed in their recent influencer sweep, and a whopping 81% were found to be potentially posting and making claims that are misleading. The main and common issue with the 81% of posts were in fact influencers did not disclose the brand relationships in posts, which NOW becomes the brand/business responsibility that the influencer you engage correctly displays the type of partnership you have engaged with them in the promotion of your brand, product or service.

What has been seen is that many influencers still to this day format their posts to hide their advertising disclosure. This is now the tricky part as under Australian Consumer Law, business must not deceive customers and now this applies to engaging a influencer as a marketer or a brand to essentially advertise your product online.

This ACCC sweep extended across Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Youtube, Facebook and Twitch. Some were macro with mass following and some were micro influencers with not a huge list of following.

What we will see shortly is guidance released in early 2024 that will apply to both businesses ad influencers to remind them of the expectations and obligations under the Australian Consumer Law to disclose advertising across all social media platforms whether it’s a scheduled ad to a post.

What we know is that since the birth and rise of the influencer is that it is and will continue to evolve. However, it is the business responsibility to ensure influencers are aware of what the Australian Consumer Laws are in terms of that vertical when it comes to promoting their product, brand or service. When creating a brief, you cannot veer the influencer to make claims on your behalf which is then creating a not genuine review.

See also: Diane Markovski: The rise of the social media influencer

Top image: Diane Markovski

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