Advertising rules for social media (influencer marketing)

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you advertise on social media? You must comply with advertising regulations. If you are a video maker and you have many followers (influencer) you must register.

You can advertise on social in different ways, for example:

  • You have borrowed or received a product or service (at a discount).
  • You are paid to advertise a product or service.
  • You use affiliate links. This means that every time someone buys something through clicking the link you use, you receive a payment.

General advertising rules

When you advertise, you must always meet the rules in the Dutch Advertising Code (Nederlandse Reclame Code, NRC), This applies to all advertising, it makes no difference which medium you use.

The Dutch Advertising Code contains general rules on advertising. Advertising cannot be, for instance:

  • against the law
  • unnecessarily hurtful
  • misleading (unclear, incorrect)

The Dutch Advertising Code also contains special advertising codes. These are for instance rules on advertising for food, alcohol, gambling, and advertising aimed at children.

Advertising rules for social media

The Dutch Advertising Code also contains rules specifically for advertising via social media, the Advertising Code for Social media & Influencer Marketing. Do you advertise on social media or do you make use of influencers to advertise you product or service on social media? You must keep to the rules. The main rules are:

  • the viewer must be able to see clearly that it is advertising
  • as a vlogger or influencer you must make clear that you are being paid to show or discuss certain products

Find out how to make advertising clearly identifiable with the Advertising Code Social Media & Influencer Marketing tool of the Advertising Code Foundation (in Dutch).

Vloggers with many followers (influencers) must register

Do you advertise in your video’s (you make videos as a vlogger or you upload videos) on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok? And do you have more than 500,000 followers (you are an influencer)? Then you must register. If you are not sure if you must register, you can check this with the Media Authority (in Dutch).

You have to register with various organisations that supervise online content:

You pay an annual fee for the SRC and for NICAM.

In addition to the Dutch Advertising Code and the Advertising Code Social Media & Influencer Marketing you must keep to the Dutch Media Act. The main rules in the media Act are:

  • You must be clear about advertising, sponsoring, and product placement.
  • You must be considerate of children (minors).
  • You must be clear about who you are and that you are under the supervision of the Dutch Media Authority.
  • You must keep your videos for at least 2 weeks from the time your videos can no longer be seen online (retention obligation).

Please note: Are you not (yet) subject to the Media Authority’s supervision? For example, do you not yet have many followers, or do you not yet post many videos? You should still be clear about advertising and sponsoring, and you must take children into account.

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