NL 02.2024

2.30 pm, Spazio Eventi in Centro Svizzero, Milan. Initial feeling: what a crowded room! More than 80 participants, brands, law firms and technology specialized companies.

In an extraordinary round table, we had the opportunity to discuss the main points related to the implementation of influencer marketing regulations with an international perspective through an interesting comparison between France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK.

Members of the round table were: moderator, Silvia Bertulli, General Counsel & Real Estate Development Director of the Moncler Group in Milan since 2009 and member of the executive board of INDICAM since 2014, brought to the audience her experience on influencer marketing from her brand’s point of view, emphasizing that these kinds of challenges – paraphrasing – ‘the need for greater transparency and different responsibilities of all the stakeholders involved’.

From Italy, Gianluca De Cristofaro, INDICAM board member and partner at LCA Law Firm, in charge of the IP, Media, Tech & Data area, focused on the results of the screening of social media posts by the European Commission and the latest news from the Italian point of view. On the one hand, Gianluca emphasised what we have been hearing for several days, namely that influencers rarely disseminate commercial content and that this will be an important issue for the future; on the other hand, he presented the path traced by the Italian Authorities – such as AGCOM – from 2016 until the recent relevant cases that have allowed them to implement stricter rules for influencers.

With the same approach, from France, Véronique Dahan, partner at Joffe & Associés in Paris and Head of the firm’s IP/Digital Department, explained the main objectives of the new law of 9 June 2023, a unique case in Europe of legislation on regulating commercial influence and combating the abuse of influencers on social networks. It was interesting to learn more about recent cases in which the DGCCRF – Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes – has targeted influencers and agencies that do not respect transparency measures and promotional bans.

Veronique was followed by Marcus Hartmann, partner at the international law firm Taylor Wessing, who brought the German experience to the audience with an important consideration: it is not necessary having numerous of rules, but the important thing is applying them correctly. His discussion focused on four leading decisions of the Federal Court of Justice on influencer marketing and new legislation. It emerged that in the Court’s decisions, the issues mainly concerned the expression of influencers’ commercial statements. Similarly, the new legislation states that a commercial purpose exists if the influencer receives payment or other forms of compensation.

From UK, Geraint Lloyd-Taylor, partner at Lewis Silkin in London, Head of the Regulatory Group, and Co-Head of the firm’s Advertising & Marketing Law team, discussed updates in UK regulation of social media and influencer ads. It was very helpful to get more information on the latest guidance from the CMA (Competition & Markets Authority) and ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) regulators on influencer marketing. The main rule is easily understood: “there is nothing wrong with getting paid or otherwise incentivised to create content, but you need to be upfront about this with your audience”.

Last but not least, we had pleasure of having with us Sofía Martínez-Almeida, Co-Head of the Intellectual Property and Technology Department at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo and as well as Co-Head of Retail & Fashion Group at the Firm. Sofía began her discussion with the definition of influencer according to Spanish soft-law and who is bound by the code of conduct, until a big picture of audiovisual communication Law. Thanks to an effective presentation of do’s and don’ts, Sofía allowed us to learn more about the code of conduct on the use of influencers in advertising. Also on her side, we listened carefully to recent decision on influencers and brands.

INDICAM thank again all panellists and participants for being with us!

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