Spain to require social media influencers to respect gambling ad rules

Spain to require social media influencers to respect gambling ad rules

Influencers will face fines of up to €150,000 for non-compliance.

Spain.- Regulations for social media influencers will be imposed under a new Law on Audiovisual Communication in Spain. The bill, which is believed to be Europe’s first proposed dedicated framework on the industry, will require social media influencers to respect existing rules on gambling advertising among other measures.

Drawn up by the Ministry of the Economy, the bill would establish legal rights for content creators, vloggers and influencers that engage Spanish audiences on social media platforms. This includes intellectual property (IP) rights. However, it also imposes regulations aimed at protecting minors from adult content. Major content creators would have to file their businesses and media profiles with the State Registry of Audiovisual Providers and disclose all activity from which they derive income. They will also assume editorial responsibility for the content on their channels.

There would be fines of between €10,000 to €150,000 for content creators who fail to comply with parental control mechanisms. Creators would also have to respect Spain’s Royal Decree on Advertising, which limits gambling advertising to between 1am and 5am and bans the marketing of incentives.

Last month, the Supreme Court annulled certain articles of Royal Decree 958/2020, partly upholding an appeal by the industry body Jdigital. Limited hours for television advertising and a ban on gambling sponsorship in sports still stand, but the court quashed article 13, which banned targeting advertising at players who have an account for fewer than 30 days.

The court also annulled sections of articles 23, 25 and 26, which banned advertising on social media and video-sharing platforms, as well as article 15, which prohibited the use of celebrities in advertising. A prohibition on advertising in venues that sell lottery games was also overturned.

However, Spain’s new minister for social rights and consumer affairs Pablo Bustinduy has said he plans to introduce legislation to impose restrictions on gambling advertising, respecting the intentions of the original Royal Decree of 2020 and also going further. He said he would particularly aim to limit advertising on the internet and social media and the use of celebrities and influencers.

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