Australian competition regulator plans to scrutinize influencer posts on social media platforms to assess whether they are disclosing their brand affiliations or not.
Individuals or platforms that are found to be violating the laws could face a potential fine of up to $1.78 million.
The regulator decided to launch an investigation after it received several complaints from consumers over misleading endorsements and testimonials.
“The number of tip-offs reflects the community concern about the ever-increasing number of manipulative marketing techniques on social media, designed to exploit or pressure consumers into purchasing goods or services,” said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb.
As part of its investigation, ACCC is reviewing posts from more than 100 influencers across platforms such as Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch. Most influencers being put under the microscope are content creators focusing on fashion, cosmetics, food and beverage, travel, fitness, parenting, gaming, and technology.
The investigation is also assessing whether advertisers, marketers, brands and social media platforms are facilitating any misconduct, according to Reuters.
The investigation is part of a broader probe that is focused on influencer marketing and advertising on social media platforms. ACCC plans to share its assessment by March 31, 2023.