Influencers often violate advertising rules

Many Dutch influencers don’t adhere to the stricter advertising rules implemented last summer, according to a study by NOS and data from the CvdM, the media authority responsible for enforcing compliance with the regulations. Almost half of the big influencers haven’t registered with the CvdM yet, and many don’t clearly state when they are advertising something, according to the broadcaster.

Companies regularly use content creators to get their products to people’s attention. They give the influencer free trips, beauty products, or dinners to create content about.

Since July, content creators with over 500,000 followers on social media platforms must register with the CvdM. If they’re doing a paid collaboration, including if they received gifts from a company, they must clearly state so in the video and the description involved.

Advertisers must also insist on it. If their influencers don’t follow the rules, the Authority on Consumers and Markets (ACM) could fine them for misleading consumers.

But many influencers don’t comply with these new advertising rules, according to NOS. The CvdM checked a sample of influencers registered with the organization, analyzing several videos of 50 influencers. More than half of the videos did not make sufficiently clear that they were advertising something. There was also often a lack of transparency about self-promotion, i.e., influencers promoting their own products or companies.

Additional research by NOS found that over half of the Dutch YouTube channels that fall under the stricter rules haven’t registered with the CvdM. Or if they did, they don’t state so clearly.

The CvdM hasn’t started handing out fines yet, preferring to first talk to the offenders. It also sent letters to influencers who haven’t registered with the CvdM yet, warning them that they could be fined if they fail to follow the rules.

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