Researchers, together with the European Commission, present the first European influencer legal training on consumer protection
The European Commission has launched the Influencer Legal Hub: a free library of resources on European consumer law applicable to influencers who are based in or engage with audiences in the European Union. This first of its kind initiative has been developed by the European Commission in collaboration with academic experts from Utrecht University and the University of Leeds.
We hope this will have a big impact on influencer education, says Catalina Goanta, Associate Professor at Utrecht University, principal investigator of the ERC project HUMANads, working on this project. The library includes a collection of short animated training videos, supported by a range of other resources designed to make the law more accessible to influencers, their agents and managers as well as the general public.
Interacting with consumers
These resources are for anyone making money by creating social media content - this is often called being an influencer. Influencers are content creators who often advertise or sell products on a regular basis - which means that in the eyes of European law they are categorised as traders. Just like any businesses that interact with consumers, in the European Union, traders have a lot of rules to comply with. These rules may seem complicated at first, but that is where the Influencer Legal Hub comes in.
By following the video training and becoming familiar with the resources in the Influencer Legal Hub, influencers, agents, brands but also consumers can become familiar with the European consumer protection standards that need to be applied in advertising, selling goods and providing services.
The academic team of HUMANads is a multidisciplinary team of researchers based at Utrecht University (Netherlands) and funded by the European Research Council through an ERC Starting Grant managed by Associate Professor Catalina Goanta (Principal Investigator), with affiliate researchers from Maastricht University (Netherlands) and Leeds University (UK), as well as an advisory board that includes world-renowned experts in digital governance. The researchers have diverse disciplinary backgrounds in law, computer science (e.g. natural language processing) and media studies (e.g. influencer cultures).
The launch of the Influencer Legal Hub,was done by a webinar bringing together representatives of the European Commission, academic experts, journalists, national consumer authorities and organisations, as well as industry representatives, who discussed the Influencer Legal Hub, and addressed the importance of compliance with EU consumer protection laws.
If you'd like to get in touch with Catalina Goanta, you can contact Irina Mak, press officer at Utrecht University via +31 6 41 622 243 or firstname.lastname@example.org