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New Guide for Advertisement of Social Media Influencers in Turkey

Turkish Advertisement Board has recently published The Guide on Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices Conducted by Social Media Influencers (“the Guide”) as per its decision numbered 2021/2. The Guide, providing the critical principles to be complied by the social media influencers during the commercial activities, is entered into force on May 5, 2021.


The Guide has been prepared in order to guide all advertisers, advertising agencies, media organizations and all persons, institutions and organizations related to advertising about commercial advertising and commercial applications made by social media influencers. The Guide includes regulations about even the content of the post to be shared. From the colours used in the post to be distinguishable and easily readable from the background, to the point that the posts should be presented in a way that can be noticed by the consumers at first glance, taking into account the interface and technical features of the platforms where they are shared. The purpose of these regulations is to protect the consumers and to ensure that consumers understand that these posts are commercial advertising without having to do anything else when they first encounter with the posts.


The Guide has imposed several obligations both to social media influencers and to advertisers. According to the Guide, the social media influencer will not be able to;


  • share a product or service for which it has not yet experienced by them, in a way that will approve the product or service in the eyes of consumers or create the perception that it has been experienced,

  • provide a health declaration regarding a good or service by violating the relevant legislations,

  • provide claims on scientific research and test results that are not created based on objective, measurable, numerical data and cannot be proved regarding a good or service,

  • provide advice consumers to the goods or services offered by doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists and health institutions, or to promote these goods or services,

  • create the impression in a manner that she/he has purchased a good or service when it is gifted to her/him by the advertiser,

  • create the impression in a manner that she/he is only a consumer of the goods or services during the time she/he has obtained financial benefits or used free or discounted goods or services,

  • use the filters or effects in social media post without declaration them,

  • systematically establish fake or non-existent audience to communicate for a good and/or service through social media.

The Guide has even regulated, explanations that should be included in advertisements made on several social media platforms such as, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, podcasts and Snapchat. The guide has organized the advertisements under four different headings, according to platforms that they will be publish, as advertisements on (i) video sharing channels, (ii) photo and message sharing channels, (iii) podcast channels and (iv) channels where the content can only be seen for a short time.


(i) For, the advertisements made on video sharing platforms such as Youtube and Instagram TV and live broadcasts, it is stated that at least one of the following explanations (in Turkish) should be provided in written and verbal form in the title or description of the video without leaving consumers to click on "read more" section:

"This video contains advertisements of (advertiser)",

"This video contains paid cooperation with (advertiser)",

“With the support of (advertiser)”,

“I received these products from (advertiser) as gift”,

"I received these products as a gift from the advertiser".


(ii) Or for, the photo and message sharing platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, it has been regulated that at least one of the following phrases (in Turkish) should be provided in the advertisements, together with any of the introductory information such as the name, brand, trade name of the advertiser in or under or in the photo and/or message shared:

#Advertisement

#Advertisement/Promotion”

#Sponsor

#Cooperation

“Collaboration with @ (advertiser)”

“Provided by @ (advertiser)”

“Received as a gift by @ (advertiser)”


(iii) In the advertisements made via podcasts which is another platform that has been regulated under the Guide, it has been adapted that at least one of the statements (in Turkish) should be included in the advertisement in a written and verbal form and at the beginning, middle and end of the podcast:

“This podcasts contains advertising about (advertiser).”

“This podcast consists of a paid collaboration with (advertiser).”

“With the support of (Advertiser).”

“I received the products that I mentioned in my podcast from (advertiser) as a gift.”


(iv) For the advertisements published on the platforms where the content can only be seen in a limited time such as Snapchat and Instagram stories, it was arranged that at least one of the labels or explanations (in Turkish) should be included in the adverts, along with any of the introductory such as the name, brand, trade name of the advertiser during the time the post appears:

#Advertisement"

#Advertisement/Promotion”

#Sponsor

#Cooperation

“Collaboration with @ (advertiser)”

“Provided by @ (advertiser)”

“Received as a gift by @ (advertiser)


Additionally, responsibilities for the advertisers such as; informing social media influencers about the Guide, making efforts for social media influencers to fulfil their obligations and taking precautions against the violations and requiring social media influencers to comply with the Law and the Regulation are determined in the Guide. At the same time, it is regulated that the advertiser cannot avoid the stated obligations on the grounds that social media influencers are solely responsible for their actions.


Advertisers, advertising agencies, and social media influencers are each individually held accountable for compliance with the published Guide. Likewise, it was stated in the Guide that, according to the relevant articles of the Law, the subsequent correction or compensation of the advertisement or commercial application that does not comply with the Regulation and the Guide will not remove the responsibility of the advertiser or the commercial application for the detected violation.


The Guide in question imposes an obligation on social media influencers and advertisers to adhere to different regulations in addition to the obligations in the Regulation and the Law. For this reason, the Law, Regulation and the Guide should be evaluated together in commercial advertisements to be published on social media platforms.


You can access the Guide published in Turkish by this link; https://tuketici.ticaret.gov.tr/duyurular/sosyal-medya-etkileyicileri-tarafindan-yapilan-ticari-reklam-ve-haksiz-ticari-uyg

Authors: Bilge Derinbay, Hande Ülker Pehlivan

Contact: bilge.derinbay@nsn-law.com