Social media has revolutionized the way people interact with news and advertising. By January 2022, an estimated 3.95 million Irish citizens had adopted social media into their everyday lives - a huge jump from just a few years ago! Brand promotion by influencers online is becoming more commonplace than traditional off-line marketing, requiring organizations to be proactive in protecting consumers against any potential risks posed by this digital shift. It's important for consumer protection authorities to understand how users are responding to all types of marketing so that appropriate safeguards can be put in place when necessary.
Do Irish Consumers trust influencer Marketing? Despite consumers believing they can easily spot influencer advertising, research by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) shows almost half of all ads are not adequately tagged. Irish consumers have little trust in information provided on social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. The CCPC is urging companies to take stronger action against hidden or misleading advertisements posted by influencers online - with only 10% of Irish respondents trusting this type of marketing tactic.
“Almost half of all irish influencer commercial content is not properly tagged as commercial content”
The CCPC's research found that while consumers generally lack trust in influencers, they are more likely to believe the ones they follow. As a result of focus groups held by the State regulator it was revealed those people may be "more vulnerable to misleading marketing than they think." A shocking 48.4% of commercial content on social media platforms wasn't labeled as advertising at all - bringing about serious implications for consumer protection online. To combat this growing issue and ensure digital safety, work is underway with legislation such as The Digital Services Act being put into place; aiming to create systematic processes for monitoring and reporting deceptive ads before any harm can come from them!
With the rise of social media, many people are asking - what regulations exist to ensure that marketing and advertising on this platform is conducted in an ethical manner? The answer lies with both legislation created by governments and self-regulatory codes adopted industry-wide.
The Consumer Protection Act 2007 protects consumers by making it illegal for traders and influencers to mislead or aggress customers. Consequences of breaching this legislation range from civil penalties up to criminal ones - so don't go breaking the law! The Combatting Cop has a wealth of enforcement tools at their disposal should anyone step out-of-line; such as requests, notices and even court orders – you've been warned!
With the fast-growing realm of influencers in Ireland, it is vital to be aware that they have an obligation - as mandated by The Consumer Protection Act 2007 - to clearly tag any content posted for commercial purposes. That could include anything from marketing material and adverts through to promotional posts. #brandresponsibility #InfluencerMarketing
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