Tighter regulations will apply to Italian influencers

Tighter regulations will apply to Italian influencers

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Tighter regulations will apply to Italian influencers

With almost 30 million followers on Instagram, Chiara Ferragni is Italy’s top influencer. Image: GETTY IMAGES


Tighter regulations will apply to Italian influencers.

It’s possible that Italian social media creators may soon have to go by the same guidelines when sharing their work online as do traditional media sources.

The Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM) will now have jurisdiction over influencers’ actions, the organization announced. Initially, content providers with more than a million followers will be subject to the rules.

“The Wild West of influencers is over,” declared Giacomo Lasorella, the head of AGCOM.

According to him, “We are starting with the big ones, but other influencers will also have to adapt,” the newspaper La Repubblica reported.

If well-known influencers don’t declare their financial interests or properly credit brand partnerships, they risk paying large fines.

The new set of standards includes harsh penalties for influencers who fail to correctly advertise their connection with a company and their economic interest, with fines up to €250,000 (£214,450).

The proposed guidelines also aim to protect children.

According to a statement from AGCOM, the measures it would take care of “commercial communication, and the protection of fundamental rights of people, minors, and sporting values.”

As for product placement, the statement added that “influencers are required to insert a warning about the advertising nature of the content.”

Many people will associate the AGCOM ruling with the recent controversy surrounding prominent Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni, which Mr. Lasorella refuted.

With nearly 30 million Instagram followers, Ms. Ferragni was fined €1.075 million in December for her false claims that sales of a pink Christmas cake labelled as “designer” would contribute to the funding of a children’s hospital in Turin.

As it happened, months before to the cake’s release, the hospital received funding from the cake’s manufacturer.

She admitted that she had made a “mistake in good faith… to link a commercial activity with a charitable one” in a statement shared with her fans.

The Italian police declared last week that Ms. Ferragni will be subject to a formal fraud investigation regarding the pandoro, or Christmas cake, issue.

Other European countries implemented stricter regulations for influencers last year.

For the first time in Europe, influencers now have a legal definition thanks to legislation that was passed in France in June and threatened jail time if found in violation of new promotion laws.

Furthermore, the European Commission declared in October that it would intensify its examination of influencers’ business dealings and endeavours, adding that digital content producers must “follow fair commercial practices and their followers are entitled to transparent and reliable information.”

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