Fines are on the horizon for social media influencers not aligning their practice as set out by the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH), as may be deduced from the GVH’s Rubint decision of 16 September 2019.

The case roots back to 2016, when the GVH started investigating social media marketing practices of certain dominant Hungarian influencers, including fitness celebrity Réka Rubint. Most of these investigations ended with commitments by the influencers. Unlike in the #kaszatibi decision delivered in April, this time the GVH found in its follow-up investigation that the commitments have not been fulfilled and therefore imposed a fine of altogether EUR 15,500 on Alakreform Kft. and Avanzo Trade Kft. (both linked to Réka Rubint).

Particularly, these undertakings failed to comply with the GVH’s guidelines applicable for “paid-for social media posts” that such content must be:

- communicated simply, clearly and unambiguously (the sponsored product and/or company must be clearly indicated in the content), - in a way that it is emphasised, easily noticeable, and necessarily and conspicuously understood by consumers (the #reklam [in English: #advertisement] hashtag must come first in the content description) that - the content is not an independent, neutral opinion or offer, but it is (also) paid-for or the result of some other direct economic interest.

See the Rubint decision here (in Hungarian). See a more in-depth analysis by Bird & Bird senior associate Bettina Kövecseshere here