UK – Global food law challenges and opportunities seminar (19th September 2017)

On 19th September 2017 I have been invited as speaker to a very interesting one-day-seminar that will touch several key topics of the UK/EU food law, including food fraud prevention.

The seminar is organised by Campden BRI and will be held in their HQ in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire.

Here you can see the full program and the speaker’s list, including Klaudyna Terlicka, Noelia Rodrigo and Jonathan Coleman from Campden BRI and Andrew Iveson (Amivet Ltd Veterinary Exports).

Summary

Maintaining an awareness of current food and drink legislation, understanding its implications and remaining alert to changes is increasingly challenging. Although progress has been made to harmonize legislation and enforcement and many food–related matters are regulated at the level of the European Union, Eurasian Economic Union, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) or Codex Alimentarius, national disparities can still be seen. A ‘one size fits all’ approach for the creation of products that comply with each market is not possible.

A further challenge is the UK’s movement towards independence from the European Union and what this might mean for the UK’s food industry.

For this seminar, Campden BRI assembled an expert team to give us their perspectives and cover emerging international food regulatory topics as they may well become more important as the regulatory landscape changes. This seminar will also provide a unique opportunity to discuss the most recent regulatory updates and trends from global perspective.

Key areas to be covered

  • Global food law trends.
  • Key export challenges, including case studies.
  • Food fraud: international perspective.
  • Global labelling differences, with particular focus on allergens, country of origin, nutrition labelling and claims.
  • Brexit and potential implications for international trade.

Key benefits of attending

  • A unique opportunity to discuss most recent updates and trends from global perspective.
  • Global regulatory awareness might become increasingly important as the UK moves on and it would be instructive to hear what is going on outside of the EU.
  • Case studies, practical applications and tools to understand and overcome export challenges.
  • Interactive discussions and great networking opportunities.

I will travel around UK for few days, so if you will participate to the seminar or would like to meet for a coffee, please drop me a not at foodlawlatest@gmail.com

 

Italian competition Authority investigates on influencer marketing

The Italian competition authority (AGCM) is currently investigating influencer marketing practices carried out on social media.

Influencer marketing consists in the posting on blogs, vlogs and social networks (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Myspace) of photos, videos, and comments by bloggers and influencers (i.e. online celebrities having a large number of followers), showing support or approval of specific brands (i.e. giving an endorsement), thus generating an advertising effect, without making clear to consumers the commercial intent of the communication.

This phenomenon is increasingly growing in size because of its effectiveness, given the ability of influencers to establish a strong relationship with their followers-consumers, who perceive such communications as advice based on personal experience and not as advertisement. Often, the pictures displaying a specific brand, posted on the personal profile of the celebrity, are mixed with neutral photos, in a flow of images that give the impression of being a private account of the celebrity’s daily routine. Sometimes the photos represent a domestic environment and are shot without using advanced techniques, while in other cases the type of image, the posture of the celebrity, and the surroundings clearly hint to a professional photo shoot. Moreover, the visibility of the product varies substantially, given the heterogeneity of the type of post and of the kind of celebrity. In some cases, the brand name is quoted in the hashtag of the post, in other situations instead they occupy a prominent position in the picture. In addition, the post can be associated with emphatic comments on the product itself.

As prescribed by the Consumer Code in Italy, in order to grant the maximum degree of transparency and clarity on the potential advertising content of the posts published by celebrities, the AGCM, with the collaboration of the Antitrust Unit of the Financial Police, has sent moral suasion letters to some of the main influencers and companies producing the branded goods displayed in the posts.

In the letters, after reminding the addressees that advertisements must always be clearly recognizable as such by consumers, the AGCM has stressed that the prohibition of hidden advertising has a general validity and therefore must be respected also in communications delivered through social networks. Therefore, influencers cannot make consumers believe they are behaving in an unsolicited and unselfish manner when they are actually promoting a specific brand.

The AGCM has thus identified general rules of conduct and has required the addressees to make apparent the possible advertising nature of the content delivered through social media, through the use of warnings, such as #ad, #sponsored, #advertising, #paidad, or, in the case of products given for free to the celebrity, #productsuppliedby; in particular, all these wordings should be followed by the name of the specific brand being advertised.

Given that hidden marketing is considered to be particularly dangerous, since it deprives consumers of the natural defenses that arise in the presence of a declared advertising intent, the AGCM urges all those involved in the phenomenon to abide to the prescriptions of the Consumer Code, providing consumers with suitable indications able to reveal the nature of the message, also when it is the outcome of a commercial relationship, and even when it is based on the free provision of branded goods to the celebrity.

Food products are often subject for influencer marketing: in Italy we had cases related to infant formula, slimming beverages.

Before the Italian AGCM, to my knowledge, only the UK CMA did something similar in the past: see the following link.