Sixteen high-profile influencers, including Michelle Keegan, Rita Ora and Zoella, have agreed to more clearly label their social media posts, after the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) warned they could otherwise be breaking consumer law.   
Online endorsements from celebrities and influencers can help brands boost sales, as millions of fans follow their social media channels to see where they go on holiday, what they wear, which products they use and more.
However, where such stars are paid or rewarded to promote a product in their social media feeds, consumer protection law requires them to disclose that they’ve been paid or incentivised to endorse a brand. Otherwise, they risk giving a misleading impression that a post represents their personal view about a product or service.
Affiverse CEO Lee-Ann Johnstone previously explained how affiliates can utilise influencers to promote their brand: “Recently at AffiliateFEST we heard about the rise of nano and micro influencers and how working with these individuals can help promote your brand at a cost effective price, driving new pockets of audiences to engage with your brand. There are still questions to be asked about how social responsibility is managed in this sphere but the logic behind the concept is sound.
Alongside the aforementioned stars, the other celebrities involved are: Alexa Chung, Mario Falcone, Alexandra “Binky” Felstead, Ellie Goulding, Holly Hagan, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Iskra Lawrence, Millie Mackintosh, Megan McKenna, Chloe Sims, Louise Thompson, Dina Torkia and James Chapman.
CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli added: “Influencers can have a huge impact on what their fans decide to buy. People could, quite rightly, feel misled if what they thought was a recommendation from someone they admired turns out to be a marketing ploy.
“You should be able to tell as soon as you look at a post if there is some form of payment or reward involved, so you can decide whether something is really worth spending your hard-earned money on.
“The enforcement action taken by the CMA has seen a number of social media stars pledge to be more transparent when posting online. It also sends a clear message to all influencers, brands and businesses that they must be open and clear with their followers. We will also continue our work to secure more improvement in this space.”
Warning letters have also been sent to a number of other celebrities, urging them to review their practices where some concerns have been identified. Further investigation work from the CMA will look at the role and responsibilities of social media platforms.
Find out more about the relationship between influencers and affiliate marketing here.
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