Instagram will prompt users to say if they have been paid to plug in any products before posting in an effort to stop hidden ads appearing on the social networking site.

  • Instagram ‘influencers’ have faced criticism for not reporting ad posts
  • The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) cracked down on advertising
  • The issue of paid endorsements has become a major issue on Instagram

Instagram has pledged to do more to prevent hidden advertising from appearing on the platform following an investigation by the UK advertising watchdog.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigated the Facebook-owned app over concerns that too many social media influencers are promoting businesses or services without making it clear that these posts are being incentivized.

Instagram has previously been accused of not doing enough to crack down on influencers who fail to correctly report paid endorsements and the wider problem of hidden advertising, which is illegal under the UK Consumer Protection Act. .

Rita Ora, pictured, was also criticized for not reporting the commercials

The French Competition and Market Authority warned Instagram influencers

The French Competition and Market Authority warned Instagram influencers

As part of the new engagements, Instagram has agreed to introduce a new prompt that will appear before users post, asking them to confirm if they’ve been prompted in any way to promote a product or service and to ask them to disclose this fact clearly.

The “paid partnership” label will also be extended to all users, allowing people to clearly signal when they have been paid in some form to promote a product on the platform.

The CMA said Instagram has also agreed to start using its technology and algorithms to detect posts where the ad may not have been properly or clearly reported, and report those users to the businesses subject to the ad. the promotion.

Additionally, Instagram’s engagements will allow the social media giant to create a tool that will allow businesses to monitor the promotion of their products.

The CMA said it expects businesses to do their part to comply with consumer protection law and take action where appropriate, including asking Instagram to remove posts if necessary.

CMA Managing Director Andrea Coscelli said: “ For too long, the big platforms have shied away from taking responsibility for the hidden advertising on their site.

“ So this commitment to tackle hidden ads and reform the way people post on Instagram – which makes it difficult for users to ignore the law – is a welcome step forward.

“ These changes mean that businesses will have no excuse to ignore the way their brands are advertised, making life much more difficult for those who are not forthright and honest with their followers. ”

In response, a spokesperson for the Facebook company said, “ We are happy to work with AMC on our ongoing efforts to help people be transparent about when they are paid to post content on Instagram.

“We are also proud to launch a program with MediaSmart, to help educate young people about branded content and how to identify it.

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