Online Advertising: The Rules For 'Influencers' And Advertisers

Author:Mr Ricardo Henriques (Abreu Advogados)
Profession:Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA)
 
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The General Directorate of Consumer Affairs (DGC), a public entity of the Ministry of Economy in charge of consumer protection policy in Portugal, recently published an "Information Guide on rules and good practices in commercial communication in the digital environment". The Guide has as its "main targets the influencers and the advertisers".

This Guide arises from the discussion currently being held in Europe, notably the United Kingdom and Italy, on the "new" way of promoting commercial brands. The Guide provides a practical approach to the issue of advertising on the various digital platforms, by enabling advertisers and influencers to internalize the obligations inherent in such commercial communications and to become aware of the obligation to comply with the applicable law.

Nowadays, advertising has occupied new spaces of diffusion - digital platforms - and assumed a new language - with different players as main actors - substituting, progressively, the traditional channels. Influencers' ability to influence grows stronger every day over consumer's decisions, and advertisers have embraced social networks, either through these influencers or themselves, as a preferred vehicle in their marketing and commercial communication strategies.

Inevitably, the debate about how the basic requirements of commercial communication in digital media - delivered clearly, transparently and responsibly - should be efficiently implemented in the marketing and promotion of sales spread by social networks also reached Portugal.

The Guide does not exactly create new rules on the matter, but instead compiles those that are applicable (at least the most obvious ones), remembering that the digital channels are also subject to them. One of the innovations of the Guide is the definition of what we should understand by "influencer": "a person or character in the digital environment who has the potential to influence others, regardless of the number of consumers that are his followers and that accompany his publications. Influencers are also digital content creators and an important source of information and influence for the consumers that trust in them. "

The activity of the influencers translates...

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