Travel industry part of ACCC crackdown on misleading social media posts

Travel industry part of ACCC crackdown on misleading social media posts

Parts of the travel industry may have to change the way they promote their brands after an announcement from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) which will see the organisation crackdown on social media influencers who fail to declare their posts as sponsored.

It didn’t take long for brand promotion to become a major part of sites such as Instagram when social media’s penetration into our everyday lives continued to grow.

The ACCC says it will look at more than 100 influencers mentioned in over 150 tip-offs from consumers who responded to the organisation’s Facebook post regarding the matter.

While most of the tip-offs from members of the public were about influencers in beauty and lifestyle, parenting and fashion, the travel industry can also be lucrative for influencers as brands push for more exposure. Along with food and beverage, health fitness and wellbeing, parenting, gaming and technology.

The problem isn’t the posts themselves, but the fact that some influencers are failing to inform their audience they’re being paid to endorse something. This can, by definition, have an effect on the influencer’s audience.

The sweep is being run over the coming weeks as part of the ACCC’s compliance and enforcement priorities for 2022/23, with the broad aim of identifying deceptive marketing practices across the digital economy.

The ACCC team is reviewing a range of social media platforms including Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook, and live streaming service, Twitch.

“With more Australians choosing to shop online, consumers often rely on reviews and testimonials when making purchases, but misleading endorsements can be very harmful,” Gina Cass-Gottlieb, chair of the ACCC said.

“It is important social media influencers are clear if there are any commercial motivations behind their posts. This includes those posts that are incentivised and presented as impartial but are not. The ACCC will not hesitate to take action where we see consumers are at risk of being misled or deceived by a testimonial, and there is potential for significant harm.”

Some of the world’s most popular travel Instagram influencers are followed by millions of people.

Jack Morris is considered one of the most followed travel grammers online, and while many of his posts may show a bit more of him than the destination itself, he’s still managed to gain the following of over 2.5 million people.

The ACCC will publish the findings of this sweep once the results have been analysed.

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