People or groups defined as Youtubers, Influencers are people whose content is followed by large masses on social media channels. The high influence of these people makes them stand out in advertising and promotional activities and produce content for these purposes. In fact, these people were named as Social Media Influencers, and these “Influencers” advertisements were prepared based on the Law on Consumer Protection dated 07.11.2013 and numbered 6502 and carried out in relation to commercial advertising and unfair commercial practices by social media influencers. “Guidelines on Commercial Advertising and Unfair Commercial Practices by Social Media Influencers” was accepted and published with the principle decision numbered 2021/2 at the meeting of the Advertisement Board dated 04.05. In the Guide, “Influencer” is defined as “a person who makes marketing communication in order to sell or rent a good or service belonging to him or the advertiser, to inform or persuade those who form the target audience” through his social media account. Advertisements made through social media influencers are required to be clearly and understandably expressed and distinguishable. It was emphasized that audible, written and visual covert advertisements are prohibited in social media, as in all means of communication.
In the Guide, many rules and principles are foreseen for “Impressive” promotions, according to their type and category. These rules apply to Youtubers and all other Influencers, as well as crypto phenomena. Advertisement Board’s advertisements and promotions of crypto phenomena contrary to the principles in this guide are subject to the Consumer Protection Law No. 6502 and
May apply the Commercial Advertising and Unfair Commercial Practices Regulations. The Board has so far impressed many “Influencers” with sentencing decisions. But we haven’t been able to detect a decision on crypto phenomena yet. The crypto phenomena that shape the crypto ecosystem are actually Social Media Influencers. Moreover, due to the volatility of the field, crypto phenomena are often criticized for their “Influential” activities. In fact, many of them directly influence each other with their criticisms due to the competition among themselves. This is the case with us. This means that crypto influencers can join the caravan of “sanctioned influencers” at any time. Of course, the prerequisite for this is that these Influencers can be identified effectively, most of them anonymous. However, there is no investigation mechanism to make this determination in the practice of the Advertisement Board. In the USA the situation is slightly different.
Crypto-related phenomenal interactions are closer to the impressiveness of the Securities and Exchange Law. That’s why the SEC, rather than the Ad Board, which tracks crypto phenomena. Since advertising law practices in the USA are very different from ours and overly liberal in our opinion, the involvement of the SEC is perhaps more accurate and more impressive in terms of investigative techniques and advertising domain analysis. It is the SEC’s statement dated October 3, 2022 that brought the issue to the agenda. Here, the SEC accuses notorious Kim Kardashian of promoting a crypto-asset security offered and sold by EthereumMax on social media without disclosing the payment she received for the promotion. According to the statement, Kardashian has agreed to plead guilty, pay $1.26 million in fines, damages and interest, and assist in the Commission’s ongoing investigation. According to the SEC’s determination, Kardashian was paid $250,000 to post a post on her Instagram account about EMAX tokens, the crypto asset offered by EthereumMaz. This is a direct interaction, as Kardashian’s post includes a link to the EthereumMax website, which provides instructions for potential investors to purchase EMAX tokens.
SEC chairman Gary Gensler explained: “This case reminds us that the fact that celebrities or influencers support investment opportunities, including crypto-asset securities, does not mean that these investment products are right for all investors … We encourage investors to evaluate the potential risks and opportunities of an investment in light of their own financial goals.” . She also added, “Ms. Kardashian’s case also reminds celebrities and others that the law requires them to publicly disclose when and how much they are paid to encourage investment in securities.”
“Federal securities laws are clear that any celebrity or other individual promoting a crypto-asset security must disclose the nature, source, and amount of payment they receive in exchange for promotion … She has a right to know whether she is impartial and Ms. Kardashian has not disclosed this information.
In its decision, the SEC concluded that Kardashian violated the “anti-touting” provision of federal securities laws. Kardashian agreed to pay the above $1.26 million, including approximately $260,000 in damages, interest, and penalties of $1,000,000, representing the promotional payout, without accepting or denying the SEC’s findings. However, she has also agreed not to promote any crypto-asset assets for three years.
The SEC has also issued a statement urging caution (available here) about potentially illicit celebrity-backed crypto asset offerings, and SEC Chairman Gensler has also released a video warning investors not to make investment decisions based solely on the advice of a celebrity or influencer.
It seems it’s essential that Crypto Phenomenals, who have a branch of Social Media Influencers, be more careful. Be it a celebrity or just a crypto phenomenon. It is important data in this regard that Kim Krdshian closed the possible sanction through a heavy agreement. There is no such reconciliation mechanism in our country. However, there is no similar application of the CMB, which is equivalent to the SEC, and there is no expectation in this direction. The Board of Advertisement, on the other hand, does not seem to have a structure or organization yet to analyze the advertisements and promotions of anonymous crypto phenomena from this perspective.
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