publicidad _influencers

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An opinion of the Plenary of the Advertising Jury Autocontrol was just published classifying advertising by influencer Paulina Eriksson on her Instagram account as covert advertising. This marks the first time in Spain that a body has ruled on the advertising activities of influencers.

The  decision issued on January 8, 2020, which upheld another decision handed down in November 2019, analyzed an image published by Paulina Eriksson, a Swedish influencer living in Marbella that showed her holding a cell phone and wireless headphones of the brand Urbanista. The caption for the image praised the product’s advantages and included the hashtag #Ad, which is the equivalent to “advertising” in Spanish.

Autocontrol found that the influencer’s post was covert advertising, breaching Autocontrol’s Advertising Code of Conduct basically for three reasons: (i) the posted image and text showed signs of being a collaboration between the influencer and the company; (ii) followers could not clearly and evidently perceive that it was an advertisement; and (iii) there was no warning that the post was an advertisement, since the inclusion of the hashtag #Ad seemed diluted among other elements at the end of the text.

Since the influencer did not adhere to Autocontrol’s Advertising Code of Conduct, the jury solved the controversy by decision that is not binding for the respondent.

As we noted earlier, this is the first decision in Spain against advertising by influencers for not identifying it as such. Although article 13 of the Advertising Code of Conduct was enough to obtain this decision, the “Code of conduct on the use of influencers in advertising” is expected to be published soon, as we noted in our previous posts on this blog. That new code will no doubt shine light on influencers and brands so that they can take part in transparent collaborations in compliance with the law in force, without incurring in unlawful advertising such as covert ads.

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Jorge Monclús


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