The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into whether celebrities are making it clear when they are paid to endorse a product on social media.
The CMA said social media influencers have the power to influence the shopping habits of millions with posts endorsing goods or services, but they may not be disclosing that they have been paid to do so.
It has written to a range of celebrities and social media influencers to “gather more information about their posts and the nature of the business agreements they have in place with brands”.
It is also asking the public to share their experiences as part of the investigation, and said it was particularly interested in hearing from people who had bought products endorsed on social media.
“It is really important they are clearly told whether a celebrity is promoting a product because they have bought it themselves, or because they have been paid or thanked in some way by the brand,” said George Lusty, senior director at the CMA.
The investigation, which has no set deadline, could lead to naming and shaming of anyone breaking the rules, and potentially prosecutions.
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