Inquiry into power of social media influencers
The role of the influencer has gained prominence in recent years thanks to the continued growth of social media.
Influencers have also faced scrutiny over their advertising practices, as many of them fail to make clear when they have been paid to promote products or services.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) earlier this month branded levels of compliance among influencers “unacceptable” after an investigation found only a third of stars had correctly labelled their Instagram posts as adverts.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has also launched a clampdown on influencer marketing after finding that three-quarters of stars “buried” disclosures about advertising within their posts.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee today said it will probe the power of influencers, how influencer culture operates and the absence of regulation around adverts.
It will also look into the positive role influencers can play – such as bringing awareness to issues such as vaccine hesitancy.
“Influencers wield a growing power over people’s lives. We want to find out how influencer culture operates and what impact it has,” said committee chair Julian Knight.
“There’s concern that while influencers are useful to advertisers in reaching the right markets on social media, there is a lack of transparency around the promotion of products or services. We’ll be looking at whether there’s a need for tighter regulation in this area and what form that might take.”
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