Ministry of Commerce published guidelines for social media’influencers’

The Ministry of Commerce has determined the obligations to be followed in the guide published by social media influencers regarding commercial advertising and unfair commercial practices.

The Ministry of Commerce prepared “Guide on Commercial Advertising and Unfair Commercial Practices by Social Media Influencers” on the basis of the Law on the Protection of the Consumer and adopted as the principle decision at the meeting of the Advertising Board held on May 4, in order to constitute the basis for the examinations carried out by social media influencers on commercial advertising and unfair commercial practices.

In the guide, people who are accepted as “influencers” in the world, who provide the sale or lease of a good or service belonging to them or the advertiser from their social media accounts, who are in marketing communication to inform and convince the target audience, are defined as “social media influencers”.

In the guide, where advertisements made through influencers must be clearly, clearly expressed and distinguishable, it is prohibited to make audio, written and visually covert advertisements on social media.

In the posts where benefits such as financial gain from the advertiser or free, discounted goods or services are provided, it has become necessary for influencers to specify this situation depending on the platform on which the commercial advertising relationship takes place.

Influencers will indicate that the sharing is a commercial advertisement in a way that it will be understood. These will be distinguishable from the colors and background used in the posts, and in an easily readable size. If other tags or descriptions are included in the share, they will be visible among the tags or descriptions.

Expressions stating that sharing is a commercial advertisement will be presented by consumers in a way that can be noticed at first glance.

Influencer will not be able to recommend it without experiencing it

The social media influencer will not be able to share a product or service for the purpose of commercial advertising in a way to approve or create the perception of that product or service in the eyes of consumers.

Influencers will not be able to make claims about scientific research and test results that are not based on objective, measurable, numerical data, and which are not provable, in a health statement in a way that is against the relevant legislation regarding a good or service.

They will have to make it clear that they are using a filter

In the guide, other liabilities of influencers are also listed as follows:

“They cannot direct or promote the goods or services offered by doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists and health institutions. They cannot create the impression that they have purchased a good or service gifted by the advertiser. They cannot create the impression that they are only a consumer while it provides them with benefits such as financial gain, free or discounted goods or services from any advertiser. In the commercial advertisement of any goods, it will be clearly stated that the image is filtered if they use effects or filtering applications. They cannot collectively create or use fake or nonexistent identities systematically to communicate about a good or service through social media.”

It will be understood that it is an advertisement without clicking the “read more” option

In the posts that are live broadcasts with advertisements made on video sharing channels such as YouTube and Instagram TV, in the video continuously or in the title or description part of the video, at the beginning of the section where the relevant advertisement will take place, there will be written and verbal information that the video is an advertisement, the name and title of the advertisers, the influencers receive a fee or gift for this service, without requiring consumers to click on a field such as “read more”.

On social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, at least one of the labels or explanations specified in the manual will be included in the photo, message, under or in the explanations, together with any of the introductory information such as the name, brand, trade name of the advertiser. Likewise, these notifications will be made in Podcast broadcasts.

In advertisements where content such as Snapchat and Instagram stories can only be seen for a short time; During the sharing, any of the introductory information such as name, brand, trade name of the advertiser and labels such as “# Reklam”, “# Advertisement / Promotion”, “@ [Cooperation with the Advertiser]” will be included.

Upon the use of influencers in this guide, advertisers were also made responsible for informing social media influencers about this guide and the provisions of the relevant law, making efforts to fulfill their obligations and taking measures against violations.

As advertisers, advertising agencies and media organizations, social media influencers have been individually held responsible for compliance with these guidelines.

Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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