The ACCC says influencers are required to disclose when content is sponsored, but admits it has not so far penalised any Australian influencer for breaking the rule.
Influencers have the same obligations under consumer law as other forms of advertising and marketing, yet despite this, face no penalty for failing to disclose sponsored materials.
A spokesperson for the ACCC told Business Insider: “Under the Australian Consumer Law businesses should not engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive.”
Misleading conduct includes when businesses or individuals leave out key information – such as when content is sponsored – or leading consumers to purchase something based on false or misleading information.
In the case of influencers, this includes sharing content or creating a post that leads consumers to believe they use a product without disclosing they have been paid or received the product in kind for posting about it.
The penalty for failing to disclose such information is severe – up to half a million per post for an individual and up to $10 million for a company.
Despite this being consumer law, the ACCC admitted it has never penalised an individual or influencer marketing businesses for not adhering to the rule.
AIMCO was established in late 2019 to drive trust, accountability and transparency in the growing sector of Australian influencer marketing. However, the guide is based on voluntary compliance, with no penalties for influencers who break the rules.
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