Celebrities And Social Media Stars Investigated For Not Labelling Posts

Social media influencers, who can sway the shopping habits of millions, may not be disclosing that they have been paid for their posts

Social Media

Social Media

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into concerns that social media stars are not properly declaring when they have been paid, or otherwise rewarded, to endorse goods or services.

Typically, celebrities and influencers have millions of followers who watch their channels to see where they go on holiday, what they wear, which products they use, the books they read and more.

Online endorsements from celebrities and influencers can help brands reach target audiences and boost sales. Where influencers are paid or rewarded to promote, review or talk about a product in their social media feeds, consumer protection law requires that this must be made clear.

If they do not label their posts properly, fans or followers may be led to believe that an endorsement represents the star’s own view, rather than a paid-for promotion.

They are then more likely to place trust in that product, as they think it has been recommended by someone they admire. They might not do so, however, if it was made clear that the brands featured have paid, or in some other way rewarded, the celebrity in return for endorsement.

As part of its investigation, the CMA has written to a range of celebrities and social media influencers to gather more information about their posts and the nature of the business agreements they have in place with brands.

The CMA investigation is considering the extent to which influencers are clearly and accurately identifying any commercial relationships, and whether people are being misled.

The CMA has seen examples of posts which appear to:

  • promote or endorse products without clearly stating if the post has been paid for
  • offer the celebrity’s personal opinion on the benefit of a product without clearly disclosing if they are being paid by the brand

George Lusty, the CMA’s Senior Director for Consumer Protection, said:

Social media stars can have a big influence on what their followers do and buy.

If people see clothes, cosmetics, a car, or a holiday being plugged by someone they admire, they might be swayed into buying it.

So, it’s really important they are clearly told whether a celebrity is promoting a product because they have bought it themselves, or because they have been paid or thanked in some way by the brand.

If the CMA finds practices that break consumer protection law, it can take enforcement action.

As part of the investigation the CMA is asking the public to share their experiences. The investigation would particularly benefit from hearing from people who have bought products which were endorsed on social media.

Graham Stuart To Promote UK Trade And Investment In New Zealand

Minister Stuart will give a keynote address at New Zealand’s largest yearly infrastructure conference

Minster Stuart and British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke

Minster Stuart and British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke

UK Investment Minister Graham Stuart is in New Zealand this week to promote UK-New Zealand investment and trade links as the UK prepares to forge its way in the world after it exits the EU.

Minister Stuart will be giving a keynote address at Building Nations, New Zealand’s largest yearly infrastructure conference in Auckland.

Mr Stuart said:

“As we embark on a new era for Global Britain this is an important opportunity to promote the UK overseas. The announcement by Dr Liam Fox of a public consultation on a New Zealand free trade deal was a vital step forward in our relationship as the UK leaves the EU.”

“I’m pleased to be in New Zealand talking about vital contributions which UK infrastructure firms are making to major development projects across New Zealand, from Auckland’s City Rail Link, to redevelopment of the city’s airport and ambitious urban regeneration projects. British companies will quite literally help build New Zealand’s future.”

High Commissioner Laura Clarke said:

“Minister Stuart’s visit comes at an exciting time in New Zealand-UK relations. We are pleased to be welcoming so many high level visitors in such a short space of time. These visits demonstrate that, despite the distance, New Zealand remains a vital relationship for the UK as we negotiate our EU Exit.”

UK exports to New Zealand were worth £1.5 billion in 2017, a 10% increase on the previous year.

Mr Stuart also attended a roundtable of key trade and investment stakeholders hosted by Deloitte.

FCO Minister Mark Field To Champion Rules-Based International System In Manila

Minister of State for Asia & the Pacific is visiting Manila on the second leg of a six-country tour of Southeast Asia

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field is visiting Manila today (16 August) for a programme that will include a keynote speech on the rules-based international system (RBIS) and discussions on strengthening further bilateral relations with the Philippines.

During his visit, the Minister will meet governmental officials including Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Defence Secretary Maj Gen Delfin Lorenzana, and Senator Loren Legarda.

In his speech, Mr Field will join Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorley to highlight the benefits the RBIS has brought to all countries.

Speaking ahead of his visit to the Philippines, Minister Mark Field said:

The rules-based international system has had a hugely positive impact on global security and prosperity, protecting people and countries, and helping them to achieve their potential. This is why the UK is working so hard to cherish and protect these rules.

Mr Field will also meet members of the finance and business communities, as well as green finance experts and trade officials to raise the UK’s profile in the Philippines.

The Minister’s visit to Manila is the second stop on a six-country Southeast Asia trip.

Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting With UN Special Envoy For Syria Staffan De Mistura

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

At Secretary Michael R. Pompeo’s invitation, he and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura met privately today in Washington. They discussed UN progress on forming a constitutional committee. Secretary Pompeo and Special Envoy de Mistura agreed that all parties needed to move ahead on the political track and that any discussion of reconstruction was premature absent a political solution leading unalterably to both constitutional reform and free and fair elections as described in UN Security Council Resolution 2254. They also stressed the need to prevent a humanitarian crisis from emerging in Idlib. Secretary Pompeo made clear that while the United States supports the return of refugees to Syria, it must only occur when the environment in Syria is sufficiently safe and secure and with the involvement of relevant UN agencies.

Attempts To Deny The Srebrenica Genocide

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

International courts have concluded that genocide occurred in Srebrenica in 1995. The Republika Srpska Government’s adoption of the 2004 report on the Srebrenica genocide was an important step in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s reconciliation and in facing the difficult facts of the past. The August 14 session of the Republika Srpska National Assembly is a step in the wrong direction. Attempts to reject or amend the report on Srebrenica are part of wider efforts to revise the facts of the past war, to deny history, and to politicize tragedy. It is in the interest of the citizens of Republika Srpska to reverse the trend of revering convicted war criminals as heroes, and to ensure their crimes continue to be publicly rejected.

Realizing the scope of the tragedy of the past war and the importance of continuing to build trust and reconciliation, the United States remains fully committed to assisting authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the state, entity, and cantonal levels, to investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for crimes against all ethnic groups. The denial of established facts of prior wars will in no way advance these objectives or assist the country’s citizens. The horrific war of the 1990s reminds us that we must strive for a stable and prosperous future for the benefit of all citizens, regardless of ethnicity or religion. The United States continues to firmly support peace, stability, and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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