On August 21, 2023, the Agreement by which the Advertising Guide for Influencers of the Federal Consumer Protection Agency was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation. In a previous note, we pointed out the origin and objectives for which the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (PROFECO, for its acronym in Spanish) decided to write this Guide, therefore, the main points of the same are described below. The Guide can be accessed at the following website: https://www.profeco.gob.mx/influencers.
The Guide was written in simple and clear language, so that it can be easily understood by influencers and content creators, and so that they can comply with the regulatory provisions governing advertising in our country. It should be noted that this Guide, although not binding, points out a clear path to follow in order to respect the regulation of advertising in digital media in Mexico.
First, PROFECO recalls in its Guide that the Federal Consumer Protection Law is the main law that regulates commercial advertising in Mexico. It also points out that when an influencer or content creator provides information or publishes a recommendation of a good, product or service through its platforms or social networks, it is generating advertising, as it can generate a decision in consumers to purchase certain goods, products, or services.
Therefore, the advertising messages that are transmitted on the platforms or social networks of influencers or content creators are obliged to comply with the obligation that these are clear, truthful, verifiable and without any other form that may mislead or confuse consumers.
The Guide highlights that PROFECO suggests the use of hashtags such as #PaidAdvertising, #Advertising, #PersonalOpinions or #SponsoredBy to inform about the existence of a commercial relationship with the brand that is being advertised on platforms or social networks. It also recommends the specific use of them depending on the type of media used.
The following recommendations also stand out:
- Display the information in a visible place and always make it available.
- Do not use or post information accompanied by various labels or links that may make it difficult, confusing, or impossible to identify it as advertising.
- In the case of images or videos, include the reference to the advertisement in such a way that it can be read and appreciated throughout its duration.
- Use labels that are easy to understand. In the case of audio media, expressly mention that it is advertising.
- Verify websites of goods, products, or services to verify that they are safe and compliant. If possible, share the source so consumers can verify the information.
- Ensure that the opinion expressed by the influencer or content creator is limited to the experience with the good, product or service. It is valid to express an opinion when the experience was not good.
The Guide also includes a checklist with useful indications:
- Place labels disclosing the relationship with the advertiser in a clearly visible and understandable place.
- Avoid practices that detract from the importance and visibility of advertising or labeling.
- Avoid ambiguous references and abbreviations. Examples include: "Thank you company X", "Ambassador", "Partner", "Express X", "#Publi" or "Ad".
- Ensure that experience reviews of goods, products or services are authentic, reliable, and recent.
- Verify whether the goods, products or services advertised comply with the specific regulations for their advertising.
- Constantly verify that the content is truthful, clear, and free of misleading or abusive texts or dialogues and that if there are links to which they are directed, that they are available.
PROFECO emphasizes that it is important to be aware of the specific rules that exist for advertising food and beverages, cosmetics, toiletries, health services and supplies, food supplements, beauty and fragrance products, etc. That is, there are special rules for the advertising of those products that may present a risk or harm to health.
Finally, PROFECO specifies that this Guide also applies to the platforms or social networks of those influencers who are children or adolescents.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.