Insights Competition and Markets Authority launches investigation into social media stars not properly declaring when they have been paid or rewarded to endorse goods or services


The CMA explains that 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 From Unfair Trading Regulations 2018 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.

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

The CMA says that it has seen examples of posts that appear to promote or endorse products without clearly stating if the post has been paid for, or offer the celebrity’s personal opinion on the benefit of a product without clearly disclosing if they are being paid by the brand.

As part of the investigation the CMA is also asking the public to share their experiences. To read the CMA’s announcement in full, click here.