The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have posted a notice putting influencers on notice not to promote “get rich quick” schemes or pursue “illegal financial promotions.” The FCA recently reported they pursued interventions 8582 times in 2022, more than 14X the year prior.
Influencers, or “fin-fluencers” have been utilized to bring awareness to many different types of products globally. In the case of financial promotions, things are different because financial services are highly regulated. In the past, crypto offerings have engaged with celebrities to promote their offerings – sometimes to the detriment of both investors and promoters. The FCA and ASA have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate and provide a framework for cooperation and coordination between the two entities.
The FCA states that there is growing concern about the misuse of social media by influencers. A Tweet can be sent in seconds, and soon viewed by tens of millions of followers.
Sarah Pritchard, Executive Director of Markets at the FCA, said they have seen more cases of influencers touting products they shouldn’t be, frequently doing this without knowledge of the rules.
“We want to work with influencers so they keep on the right side of the law, as this will also help protect people from being shown scams or investments that are too risky.”
Influencer Sharon Gaffka, who is participating in the initiative, said when you leave a show like Love Island you are bombarded with opportunities.
“This campaign with the FCA and ASA will hopefully make sure other influencers stay on the right side of the law and prevent them from unknowingly introducing their followers to scams or high-risk investments,” said Gaffka.