Media watchdog issues first fine to influencer over breach of advertising rules

The Flemish Media Regulator (VRM) has imposed a fine on a social media influencer for the first time. Sarah Puttemans has been ordered to pay 2,000 euros for non-compliance with social media advertising regulations.

The watchdog discovered violations of the Media Decree during its investigation into Puttemans in autumn 2023. It ruled that she had failed to adequately disclose commercial content in her YouTube and TikTok videos. VRM guidelines mandate the inclusion of terms like "advertisement" or "publicity" at the beginning of the video description, along with appropriate tagging of the brand, product or service.

While Puttemans adjusted the two videos, she had already received a previous warning, which was taken into account in deliberations. VRM ruled that Puttemans had committed a serious infringment and derived significant benefits from two particular videos.

Puttemans is unable to appeal against the fine.

The 24-year-old has more than 230,000 followers on Instagram, more than 80,000 followers on Tiktok and more than 27,000 subscribers on YouTube. She mainly works with fashion and beauty brands.

#FlandersNewsService | Sarah Puttemans and boyfriend Viktor Verhulst © PHOTO DUTCHPRESSPHOTO

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