Israel’s Attorney General weighs in against hidden advertising on Instagram
Top legal authority says tagging the advertiser is not enough, demands celebrities place prominent notice to protect kids
Lital Dobrovitsky | 17:16 21.01.2021
Are the days of paid endorsements on Instagram over? If you ask Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, the answer is yes. According to him, whenever sponsored content is uploaded to the platform (whether in exchange for money or benefits in kind) the advertiser must demand that the influencer clearly state, in a way that’s understandable to the consumer (in Hebrew when the product is geared at the Israeli consumer) and in a manner that is apparent upon first exposure to the ad (meaning without requiring them to press another link) that it is indeed a paid endorsement, otherwise there is a substantial risk that the consumer public mistakenly believes that it is not an ad, which would constitute misleading advertising according to the law. The Attorney General’s position on the matter was issued in response to two class-action lawsuits currently being heard in the Jerusalem District Court. One questions whether the prohibition on presenting advertising in a misleading way so that the reasonable person would not be aware that they are seeing an ad, should apply to Instagram. The other questions whether companies that advertise their products via Instagram celebrities, while tagging the advertiser are still considered to be carrying out misleading advertising.