Until now, neither Polish law nor authorities have really acknowledged the existence of influencer marketing. Only a few examples can be referenced, such as a decision issued by the Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Office which imposed a fine on an influencer for promoting a pyramid scheme.
The situation is likely to change soon due to the current plans of the Polish Competition and Consumer Protection Office to thoroughly investigate illegal surreptitious advertising on social media. The Office has decided to take this action following an initial check which showed that many influencers’ advertising posts are not marked as such at all or marked only with #ad which is likely not to be understood by Polish Internet users. Such posts breach the ban on surreptitious advertising and may constitute unfair market practice or even an act of unfair competition. The Office believes that each post that is connected with any kind of remuneration for an influencer (either monetary or of a different nature) needs to be marked as advertising. Otherwise, the audience could be misled into believing that the post reflects the influencer’s private opinion.
The Office will take a closer look at the most popular Polish influencers and examine their relations with advertising agencies and sponsors. Also, the Office will investigate whether influencers’ potential malpractices are caused by the expectations of the sponsors. The influencers will be notified about the commencement of the investigation and will be subject to financial penalty if they fail to cooperate with the Office during the proceedings.
As the result of this initiative it is hoped that the Competition and Consumer Protection Office will publish guidelines for individuals promoting products on the internet, including influencers. In the meantime, any illegal practices discovered by the Office may also be subjected to fines.
We will monitor the progress and outcomes of the Office’s proceedings and update on Engage accordingly. Should you require more information, do not hesitate to contact us.
Authored by Ewa Kacperek, Aleksandra Kuc-Makulska