On 5 May 2021, the Advertising Board of the Ministry of Trade published the Guideline on Commercial Advertising and Unlawful Commercial Practices Social Media Influencers (“Guideline“) pursuant to the Consumer Protection Law (“Law“). The Guideline aims to inform all advertising industry stakeholders, including advertisers, advertising agencies and platforms, on how the advertising activities of social media influencers (“Influencers“) are regulated. The Guideline is available here (in Turkish).
The Guideline regulates the main advertising principles relevant to Influencers. According to the Guideline:
To this end, the Guideline classifies social media communication into four categories depending on the type of content and platform:
The Guideline also regulates different advertising rules for each type of platform.
On all platforms, the main requirement is to disclose that the communication consists of advertising through the use of revealing hashtags such as “#Sponsor”, “#İşbirliği”, “#Reklam” or “#Tanıtım”.
Although the Guideline regulates the liabilities of advertisers, advertising agencies and Influencers separately, all of them are personally liable for compliance with the Guideline.
Additionally, advertisers have the obligation to inform and request compliance from Influencers with regard to the requirements regulated under the Guideline, the Law and further relevant legislation. Noncompliance with the obligations defined in the Guideline is subject to monetary and preventive sanctions regulated under the Law.
The Guideline fills an essential gap in the online advertising sector. Advertisers, advertising agencies and Influencers should carefully assess the Guideline, and all of them should take necessary actions to ensure compliance.