BeCommerce introduces seals of approval for influencers

Belgian e-commerce trade association BeCommerce has launched a new seal of approval for influencer ads. The seal of approval is intended to prevent fraudulent sales on social media. Belgian consumers can now easily check if an influencer complies with European legislation.

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Five-fold increase in fraudulent ads

According to the Belgian Federal Public Service for the Economy, online fraud is a growing problem in Belgian e-commerce. In 2021, the federal hotline received 773 reports of fraudulent advertising, a fivefold increase compared to the 155 reports received in 2020. The total amount consumers spent on these ads quadrupled to €8.6 million in 2021.

The new seal of approval is a separate product from BeCommerce’s existing one.

To prevent further fraud, BeCommerce and former Secretary of State for Consumer Protection Eva de Bleeker created a seal of approval for influencers. The new seal of approval is an additional product alongside the existing BeCommerce seal of approval for online shops.

In line with European legislation

In order to obtain the seal of approval, influencers must comply with European legislation and the guidelines of the Belgian FPS for the Economy. One of those rules is that influencers must ensure their ads are appropriate and not misleading. They must also include the words “sponsored” or “ad” when recommending a product under an agreement with a company.

“We are one step closer to a safe internet environment for Belgian consumers.”

According to EU legislation, influencers must also provide their business address on their social media channels. This raised privacy concerns as most influencers work from home. Belgian influencers can now use BeCommerce’s address on their channels to protect their privacy. “With the development of this seal of approval, we are one step closer to a safe online environment for the Belgian consumer,” says Sofie Geeroms, Managing Director at BeCommerce.

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