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Antitrust, Influencer Investigation for Mystery Advertising

Antitrust, Influencer Investigation for Mystery Advertising

Antitrust realization on influencers for hidden advertising. Indeed, the antitrust authority continues its activities to combat hidden forms of advertising on social media with the launch of a new investigation against Bat Italia SpA and influencers Stefano Di Martino, Cecilia Rodriguez and Stefano Sala.


The authority questions the publication of the profile of these influencers, which has a commercial relationship with Bat Italia SpA, to publish posts that contain an invitation to followers to post content with tags and hashtags associated with the advertising campaign of the Glo Hyper product, which is a device. For hot tobacco produced and marketed by the company. The advice of De Martino, Rodriguez and Sala appears to be aimed at doubling down on posts referring to the Glo Hyper brand on Instagram, in order to boost the visibility of the device, in line with the branding relationship the influencers have with the brand owner.

The advertising impact that the professionals get – which is derived from trademarks and hashtags – is not recognizable in its commercial nature due to the lack of graphic or text warnings that allow the promotional purpose to be determined. On Thursday, May 27, inspections were carried out at Pat’s headquarters with the help of Guardia di Finanza’s special antitrust unit.

The intervention is part of the line of inquiry that aims, following the development of social media-based marketing techniques, to target communications that appear neutral and seemingly uninterested but are actually beneficial to promote a product, and thus are able to influence consumer choices.

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The authority has repeatedly indicated – in previous investigations and ethical persuasion interventions related to various forms of hidden advertising on social media – that advertising should be clear to discriminate, and established that the general ban on hidden ads has a general scope and therefore should also apply to communications posted by influencers across networks. Social.