CPS and ACA Unite to Clarify Influencer Ad Rules

In a significant move to enhance transparency in digital advertising, the Consumer Protection Service (CPS) and the Advertising Control Agency (ACA) have entered into a 5-year memorandum of understanding (MoU). This collaboration is set to inform consumers about the commercial intent behind influencers’ posts on social media platforms.

The Ministry of the Interior, in conjunction with the ACA, has committed to educating businesses, consumers, and influencers on the necessity for influencers to clearly disclose promotional content within their posts. The agreed-upon disclosure rules are designed to be conspicuous and comprehensible, accommodating various content formats such as images, posts, videos, or blogs on popular platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok. The aim is to ensure clarity for all viewers, including adults, young people, and children.

To further guide influencer marketing practices, the ACA has developed a Guide for Influencer Marketing, which serves as an appendix to the Cyprus Advertising Code and is endorsed as a best practice by the Ministry of Health. George Papanastasiou, Minister of Energy, Commerce, and Industry, highlighted the growing significance of influencer marketing in the digital economy and the CPS’s role in ensuring consumer protection in a competitive market.

The European Commission’s 2023 Sweep survey on influencers revealed a need for more stringent actions in this domain. In response, Constantinos Karagiorgis, Director of the CPS, announced a national initiative to support and promote the ACA’s Guide for Influencer Marketing. An information campaign will also be launched to educate influencers on the legal framework governing their posts.

Sotiroulla Sotiriou, President of the ACA, acknowledged the rapid expansion of influencer marketing and noted that investment in this area is on the rise. She emphasized the importance of the public being able to distinguish between content and advertising, adhering to standards of transparency and ethical practice.

The ACA plans to offer support, training, and expertise to influencers to help communicate the commercial nature of their posts effectively and prevent consumer deception. This initiative underscores a commitment to uphold advertising ethics and empower consumers in the digital landscape.

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