First Swedish case against influencer regarding surreptitious advertising

A famous Swedish blogger and influencer in social media has been judged to have posted messages on her web-blog and Instagram account that were in breach of the Swedish Marketing Act. The posts have not been formulated and presented in a way that clearly states that it has been marketing. The posts have also been found to not clearly state who is responsible for the marketing. It was not considered enough to use the hashtag #samarbete (Sw. cooperation) in an Instagram post to identify the message as advertising and not the influencer’s private post.

One web-blog post that was cleared by the court had the information “sponsored post” immediately after the headline and the post ended with the sentence “in cooperation with”[the author’s translation]. This post was considered compliant with the requirement for advertising and sender identification.

None of the posts were considered advertorials (i.e. editorial content to promote a product where a trader has paid for the promotion without making that clear) or that the influencer falsely represented herself as a consumer.

The company that was responsible for the marketing was not summoned in the case. The company that had mediated the influencer’s assignment to advertise was not considered to have had enough influence over the form and content of the posts and the Public Office for Consuming’s claim was therefore not approved.