Office of Competition and Consumer Protection’s (UOKiK) recommendations regarding the tagging of ADVERTISING content by influencers in social media

The Influencer Marketing market is the fastest growing advertising market; new content and social platforms as well as formats are constantly being created. In such a diverse environment, with most platforms belonging to a foreign corporation, it is very difficult to standardize the way we label advertising content, cooperation, campaigns, and self-promotion. Additionally, cooperation based on barter or gifts from the advertisers raised questions. Education in this area is the mission of the IAB Working Group on Influencer Marketing. First, we focused on standardizing the definition of an influencer and developing good practices for influencers, agencies and advertisers. During the development of the Influencer Marketing Guide (, it became clear that there was a need to develop recommendations for the tagging of influencer materials.

Does a PR package fall into the definition of a marketing cooperation; and what about the promotion of the influencer’s own products, do they have to be tagged? These are examples of the questions that we received in the IAB Working Group for Influencer Marketing when we were developing the Recommendations of the President of UOKiK (the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection).

On September 26, after almost a year of work, the Recommendations of the President of UOKiK concerning the tagging of advertising content by influencers in social media were published. These recommendations are a set of recommendations, legal acts and possible consequences that should be taken into account not only by the influencers themselves, but also by all entities involved in the activity, i.e. agencies, freelancers, marketers and specialists working directly with influencers. It is also a source of invaluable knowledge for companies that are planning such activity.

Below we present a summary of the most important information contained in the Recommendations.

  1. Commercial cooperation and form of remuneration

Each advertisement (advertising material, commercial content) must be distinguished from neutral content. The material is commercial, regardless of the type of remuneration or the method of concluding the contract.

An influencer’s remuneration may be:

  1. a) a discount on the purchase of products or services,
  2. b) profit from the publication of discount codes or affiliate links,
  3. c) a voucher,
  4. d) a bonus,
  5. e) covering the costs of participation in the event (apart from the admission ticket).

Examples – when an influencer does not have to mark the content as an advertisement, but must announce that they have received an invitation or a product:

  1. a) when the product is given to the influencer for testing, but the brand has no influence on the published results
  2. b) when the influencer is given free participation in an event, and the organizer has no influence on the published comments/ review
  1. PR packages and self-promotion

The recommendation clarifies the issues of the use of an influencer’s own products such as e-books, services, books, clothes, cosmetics etc. All these products must be labeled as self-promotion.

Concerning gifts and PR packages, in the recommendation we read:

“Did you receive a bamboo thermos as a gift from a brand? Want to share this on your social media accounts? Do not forget to mention that you received the product as a gift. If the same brand then sends you more products – you should label publications about them as advertising material.”

  1. How to label

This is the part that the market has been waiting for most urgently, the recommendations clearly specify where and how to mark the materials, depending on whether it is self-promotion, advertising material or a gift. Types of labelling that are not recommended are also described to avoid doubt.

Oznaczenia - infografika

Recommended labels according to UOKiK are:

  1. a) advertising material: #advertising or [advertising]; #advertising material or [advertising material]; #advertisingcooperation or [advertising cooperation]; #sponsored or [sponsored post]; #sponsored material or [sponsored material]; #paidcooperation or [paid cooperation]; #video #relationship #post #material + #advertising #sponsored = e.g. #videoadvertising, “#sponsoredreport Advertising of XYZ brand”. “Paid cooperation with the XYZ brand”. Information about the name of the promoted brand must always appear!
  2. b) self-promotion: #self-promotion or [self-promotion]; #self-advertisement or [self-advertisement]; #own brand or [own brand],
  3. c) gift*: #gift or [gift] #present or [present].

* Only for the first gift from the brand! Later, each subsequent one should also be marked as advertising material.

  1. Legal Consequences

The Recommendations detail the legal consequences of incorrect labelling of advertising materials for the influencer, for advertising agencies (media houses), and also for the advertisers. The consequences were divided into civil law and administrative law. Incorrect marking of advertising content may result in, for example:

  1. a) payment of a fine of up to 10% of turnover
  2. b) stopping the offending practice
  3. c) a fine to be paid for a specific social goal related to supporting Polish culture, protection of national heritage or consumer protection
  1. Special and prohibited categories

Influencerze - pamiętaj

The recommendations identify products that are subject to separate legal regulations, i.e.:

  1. a) alcohol products
  2. b) tobacco products
  3. c) prescription drugs
  4. d) financial products and services
  5. e) gambling

and those prohibited for younger internet users (persons up to 18 years of age) in accordance with the Broadcasting Act. Also it looks at counteracting unfair market practices as well as implementing the “Charter for the protection of children in advertising”

More examples and information can be found in the Recommendation, we encourage you to read the document and the press release of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection


Ewa Archanowicz

Senior Media Planner Buyer

Member of the IAB Working Group for Influencer Marketing