Briefing

Competition Bureau puts brands and marketing agencies on blast over influencers

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The agency asked nearly a hundred companies to review their marketing to ensure it complies with the law on disclosing paid promotions. Businesses “may be liable for false or misleading content,” it said in a release, following a review of the practice in the health and beauty, fashion, technology and travel industries. (The Logic) 

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Talking point: The bureau said social media celebrities and the companies that hire them are covered by rules against deceptive marketing practices, and this isn’t the first time it’s warned them to comply. In June 2018, it issued guidelines that require the disclosure of “material connections” like payment, freebies and personal connections, and that reviews be based on actual experience. The sector may actually be facing the opposite problem—influencers claiming sponsorships they don’t actually have to build credibility. Platforms are also starting to crack down on some paid promotions; on Wednesday, Instagram said it won’t allow “branded content” for vaping and tobacco products or weapons.