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UPDATE 1-Instagram agrees curbs on paid influencers, says UK watchdog

Fri, 16th Oct 2020 09:31

(Adds Facebook comment)

By Huw Jones

LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Facebook's Instagram has
agreed measures to crack down on hidden advertising by so-called
influencers on its photo and video platform, Britain's
Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Friday.

Influencers with thousands of followers can earn large fees
from companies to promotes a product on Instagram.

In what the CMA described as an important behaviour shift by
a major social media platform, Facebook Ireland, which operates
Instagram in Britain, has committed to a package of changes.

"This will make it much harder for people to post an advert
on Instagram without labelling it as such," the CMA said in a
statement.

Facebook said the company was pleased to be working with the
CMA on its continued efforts to increase transparency on when
people are paid to post content on Instagram.

"We are also proud to be launching a programme with
MediaSmart to help educate young people about branded content
and how to identify it," Facebook added.

The CMA said it has been investigating concerns that too
many influencers are posting content about businesses without
making it clear they have been paid or received other incentives
to do so.

Influencers will have to confirm and disclose if they have
received any incentives to promote a product or service.

Instagram will also use technology to spot when users might
not have disclosed clearly that a post is an advertisement, the
CMA said.

Last year 16 celebrities pledged to clean up their act on
social media after CMA action, the watchdog added.
(Reporting by Huw Jones
Editing by David Goodman)

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