Social media presents invaluable marketing opportunities for businesses. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok allow direct engagement with target audiences. However, the same consumer laws governing traditional advertising also apply in the social media sphere. Businesses must ensure their social media marketing is truthful and not misleading.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)  recently issued guidance around the use of influencer endorsements and testimonials. It has stressed that all claims made by businesses on social media must be accurate. This covers any claims about prices, products, benefits, qualities, performance and shipping. 

A major area of concern is the use of social media influencers in marketing. Working with influencers provides great exposure for a business. However, businesses must ensure these collaborations are transparent and influencers represent products accurately.

Australian consumer law prohibits businesses from paying influencers for favourable reviews that misrepresent their genuine experience with a product. Disclosing an influencer partnership is crucial for transparency. Similarly, businesses cannot incentivise positive reviews through competitions, free products or other gifts. The ACCC has warned that such posts likely mislead consumers by appearing to be organic recommendations when they are in fact promotional advertisements.

Businesses are responsible for ensuring proper disclosure by influencers promoting their products. When partnering with influencers, businesses should have clear, written guidelines in place regarding accurate and compliant representations of their products. Ongoing monitoring of influencer posts is key to ensure continued compliance with the guidelines. If an influencer makes false, misleading, or out-of-policy claims about a product, the business must promptly remove the content. The business may also consider suspending or terminating the relationship if violations are severe or repeated

In summary, social media marketing must comply with consumer laws. Properly leveraging influencers while monitoring for genuine representations will keep businesses on the right side of the law.

Our experienced lawyers can provide specific advice for lawful influencer partnerships. Don’t hesitate to contact us on 1800 BIZ LAW (249 529) or today.