The number of misleading social media ads and TikTok videos promoting financial products has got out of hand, forcing the Financial Conduct Authority to clamp down on so-called “finfluencers.”
New guidelines are designed to address the fact that most of these influencers don’t know what they are doing. The FCA warned: “This lack of expertise is reflected in the large number of promotions that are either illegal or non-compliant, making it likely that consumers will see poor quality information on social media.”
In May, the FCA teamed up with the Advertising Standards Agency and Sharon Gaffka (pictured), a Love Island contestant who was a civil servant, to warn “finfluencers” about the risks they are taking.
This kind of advertising is barely distinguishable from online scams and nuisance phone calls, and FCA guidelines are due for an update – the current set were laid out in 2015 and are centred on text-based social media, with no reference to influencers.
New rules will cover memes, chatrooms and video content. And the FCA is determined to take action against anyone touting products illegally.