CIPR welcomes CMA action on misleading online content

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has welcomed recent action taken by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to prevent misleading online practices.

A CMA investigation found that Influencer Marketing Agency - Social Chain Ltd - used its own social media accounts, as well as those it managed on behalf of influential social users, to promote films, games and dating apps, without its followers being informed that the content was paid-for advertising.

The CMA used its consumer protection powers to secure undertakings from the Social Chain to ensure future advertising is clearly labelled or identified where necessary.

Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive
The CMA’s announcement is a welcome reminder of the need for PR professionals to maintain the highest standards of professional conduct, particularly when assisting clients and colleagues with online campaigns.

The law is clear - advertising and paid-for content must be clearly labelled. I'd urge our members to familiarise themselves with the CMA guidance.

The CIPR’s Code of Conduct, to which all members are accountable, compels practitioners to act in an honest and transparent manner. Any members misleading consumers or the public about a product or service risk having their membership terminated.
Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive

The CMA have also published an open letter to marketing departments, marketing agencies and their clients outlining the legal framework around online reviews and endorsement. Further guidance can be found in the CMA website.

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).