The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) wants youtubers, tiktokers and streamers to stop working in a legal vacuum and that they can be denounced in case they comment on irregular practices. In an open public consultation this Monday, the regulator asks the sector to position itself on the possibility of being identified as “audiovisual communication service providers”, in order to increase the transparency of the activity of “these new agents in the market”.
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The agency explains that the time when the activity of this type of influencer was associated with amateur activities has been left behind. “These new audiovisual agents or vloggers they are professionalized and their contents (short, long, live or recorded videos) enjoy a notable presence in the audiovisual market from the point of view of consumption and advertising investment”, he justifies.
Irregularities such as surreptitious advertising are the order of the day in the content promoted by influencer accounts, especially those with tens of thousands of followers but without star status. The situation is the same for those that specifically target children. European consumer organizations have gone so far as to file massive complaints to Brussels to take action specifically against TikTok for “failing to protect children from misleading advertising and inappropriate content.”
In Spain, the new Audiovisual Law charges the CNMC with monitoring these influencers. The fact that their activity has so far passed under the radar of the institutions has meant that even obvious covert advertising campaigns go unpunished. This was the case, for example, with the operation orchestrated by a bookmaker in which the influencers pretended to have earned money in a short time betting on the Internet, without identifying that it was paid advertising or establishing age limits to prevent that advertising from reaching to minors.
The public consultation of the CNMC aims to avoid this type of situation. “With this Communication, the sector will be able to have a greater understanding of the regulatory functions of the CNMC and the guarantees it protects. This knowledge will foreseeably facilitate the filing of complaints against practices that are not permitted,” says the regulator. A controversy that was fueled by the growing flight of youtubers and streamers to Andorra to save taxes.
traditional television networks have regularly complained for the deregulation of the activity of youtubers, tiktokers and streamers, whom they accuse of unfair competition for not being governed by the same rules as the rest of the audiovisual sector. The CNMC now invites the entire sector to take a position on this issue until March 1, when the public consultation period will end.