Canadian Government Will Begin Enforcing Stricter Influencer Marketing Laws
An “influencer” is no longer qualified by follower count.
Responding to the rise of influencer marketing, Canada’s Competition Bureau will introduce stricter laws regarding brand endorsement on social media. As reported by The Fashion Law, the Bureau outlined new requirements for disclosing influencer-brand partnerships at the Canadian Institute’s 26th Annual Advertising and Marketing Law Conference last month.
Currently, Canada’s Ad Standards defines an influencer as anyone who possesses the potential to influence others, regardless of follower count. An influencer must disclose any “material connection” — including compensation in the form of money, commissions, discounts or free products, travel or tickets to events — to the endorsement of a product, business or service. The “material connection” must be specified in a prominent and visible manner. For example, it cannot appear below Instagram‘s “more” button in a caption and must be stated in plain and clear language without abbreviations. Additionally, influencer reviews and testimonials must be based on the actual experience of the influencer — a stipulation that throws Kendall Jenner’s controversial endorsement of Proactiv into question.
Influencers will face harsh penalties for falsely advertising a product and failing to disclose a material connection, including hefty fines up to $10 million USD and in serious cases, jail time.
- The Fashion Law