Influencer Advertisements Within The Scope Of Advertising Board Decisions – 2
Ads Containing Health Claims Made by Social Media Influencers
In today's digital era, advertising activities are increasingly conducted through social media platforms. As a result, the Advertising Board ("Board") has been enforcing penalties for commercial advertisements made by social media influencers that contain health claims, in addition to the "Guide on Commercial Advertisements and Unfair Commercial Practices by Social Media Influencers" ("Guide").
In the second part of our article series, examples of decisions related to advertisements containing health claims made by influencers and sanctioned by the Board are provided. You may access the first article of our series titled ”The Advertising Board Chronicles: Unveiling Influencer Ad Decisions – No. 1 Instagram Posts Not Conforming to the Guideline" from this link.
1- Decision of “Mehmet Sert” No. 2022/2868
It was determined that in the videos published on the YouTube channel of the Influencer, it is stated that the reviewed products meet children's daily vitamin C needs and support their immune systems.
Following the examinations conducted by the Board, it has been determined that the mentioned video includes misleading health claims that go beyond the limits permitted by the legislation, using scientifically unproven statements, and thus deceiving consumers. In addition, it has been determined that for any health claim related to a product, permission must be obtained from the relevant administrative authority. As a result, it has been decided to impose suspension the aforementioned advertisements imposed on the social media influencer.
2- Decision of “Ceyda Düvenci” No. 2022/1755
In the posts featured on the Instagram page of a social media influencer, products emphasizing their anti-aging and skin-beneficial properties were advertised. It was stated that these products are also effective against skin infections, wounds, and redness, while providing protection against the harmful effects of UV rays and reducing the risk of skin cancer.
Based on the conducted evaluations by the Board:
- It has been determined that the treatment-oriented and indication-specific statements in the reviewed advertisements exceed the definition of cosmetic products stated in the relevant legislation and are considered misleading.
- Additionally, if the mentioned product can substantiate the claims made in the advertisements, it should be licensed as a "human medicinal product" or "medicine" rather than falling within the scope of cosmetic products. Advertising products that should be evaluated within the scope of "human medicinal products" or "medicines" is not compliant with the regulations.
- Furthermore, it has been assessed that the statements such as "%100 Natural," "Suitable for Vegan Use," and "%100 Plant-Based" in the advertisements cannot be proven to be true through scientific tests/reports and other documents, and therefore, they do not reflect the truth.
Within this scope, it has been decided to impose a suspension the aforementioned advertisements for the social media influencer.
3- Decision of “Özlem Altınok Öz” No. 2021/1056
On the Instagram page of a social media influencer, an advertisement was published stating that the reviewed product was started to be used upon doctor's recommendation. It was mentioned that the large capsules caused stomach issues, but the product continued to be used due to its homogeneous dissolution in the stomach.
Based on the conducted evaluations:
- The stated statements are considered health claims.
- These claims create a misleading impression that the product is promoted as if it were a drug or a human medicinal product, suggesting that it resolves digestive issues caused by other forms of fish oil.
- The aforementioned statements are not among the health claims allowed by the regulations. Moreover, even the permitted health claims cannot be attributed directly to the product. Therefore, according to the regulations in force at that time, the use of such health claims for dietary supplements was strictly prohibited.
- For making any health claim regarding a product, permission must be obtained from the relevant regulatory authority. In this case, no permission was obtained for the used claims, so the accuracy of these claims cannot be scientifically proven. Consequently, it has been evaluated that consumers are deceived and misled by unsubstantiated health claims.
As a result of the evaluation, suspension the aforementioned advertisements has been imposed on the social media influencer.
In line with the Board decisions mentioned above, administrative fines and suspension the aforementioned advertisements may be imposed regarding advertising shares made through social media platforms in cases such as the presence of advertising statements containing health claims or the use of scientifically unproven statements about dietary supplements. In order to avoid facing such penalties, it is important to ensure that content produced complies with relevant regulations.
You may access the details of these decisions via this link.