Last month, I posted an article on Influencers' Regulation in Argentina, where I discussed Draft Bill No. 1358/20 "Legal Regime for Influencers", which was submitted for preliminary approval of the Senate on June 30, 2020. It´s currently under study in two Congress committees: General Legislation and IT, Mass Media and Freedom of Speech. You can access the complete article here.
Additionally, earlier this month, the Advertising Self-regulatory Council (CONARP), issued a Guide called "Influencers - Guide for use in Commercial Communication" (hereinafter, the "Guide") in order to determine the guiding principles, which are in line with the Code of Ethics and Advertising Self-regulation and current applicable legislation, intended to be considered when using influencers in communication and digital advertising, mainly on social networks.
The Guide specifically highlights that both the trademarks' owners and the Influencers must adopt the appropriate measures to ensure that the content to be published is in accordance with the current regulations of each country and with the principles of good professional practices agreed upon at a global level, within the framework of the responsible exercise of freedom of commercial speech, ensuring that the message is legal, truthful, honest and trustworthy. In turn, the identification of advertising as such and transparency about the true commercial purpose of the communication, are guiding principles of digital advertising, and for this, the Guide states that various expressions (for example, #hashtags) can be used to make the relationship transparent.
Moreover, the spirit of the Guide is to avoid unnecessary regulations which may find it hard to keep up with these fast-changing issues. Besides, CONARPS assures that self-regulation has proven to be the most effective and dynamic path to look after the interests of all the parties involved: the brand, consumers, advertisers, and influencers.
According to the Guide, whenever the influencer is involved in the creation of the content, together with the advertiser, and provided that there is a material connection between the brand and the influencer, there will be a Commercial Communication, falling within the scope of CONARP's Code. On the contrary, the Guide excludes from the Commercial Communication concept any other activity involving an honest opinion and/or recommendation of a brand, within the scope of the freedom of speech principle, as long as there is no material connection between the influencer and the brand (e.g., an honest review about a product purchased by an influencer as consumer, based on their experience and without resulting in any compensation or benefit from it).
Finally, the Guide applies from Nano influencer (under 10,000 followers) to Celebrity (+500,000 followers) -according to the classification made by the Argentinean Chamber of Advertisers (CAA)- considering the relationship between each influencer and their followers, since no matter the number of followers they have, they create with each of them a relationship of trust and engagement when generating content relevant to their specific community of interaction. Keeping self-regulation as the rule, avoiding turning these precepts into law, seems to be CONARP´s goal. Time will tell if self-regulation continues to be the system of choice in Argentina.
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