‘Stealth advertising’ complaint against Federer dismissed
The self-regulatory body for the Swiss advertising industry has dismissed complaints against tennis star Roger Federer and influencer Xenia Tchoumitcheva for “stealth advertising” on Instagram.
The Swiss Foundation for Consumer Protection had complained to the Swiss Fairness Commission against several celebrities including Federer, saying they should have labelled certain social media posts as advertising.
Federer had posted a video on Instagram in which, among other things, he could be seen putting on a Uniqlo headband in a close-up shot.
But the Fairness Commission wrote that in the sports world it is “well known that it is customary to present commercial brand logos”, and that this was not unfair advertising.
It also dismissed the complaint against Xenia Tchoumitcheva concerning an Instagram post on which brand jewellery could be seen. Tchoumitcheva said she had never received any money for the post. The Fairness Commission found that “the character of the defendant’s Instagram account is clearly commercial” and that this advertising was therefore fair.
By contrast, the Commission had earlier this year rebuked mountain biker Jolanda Neff and snowboard champion Iouri Podladtchikov for non-declared advertising in their Instagram posts.
Sara Stalder, head of the Consumer Protection Foundation, questioned the different stance taken over the two rulings, saying they created “chaos”.
She said the rulings were not comprehensible and called for the Fairness Commission to establish clear rules. “This needs clarification, not only for consumers but also for influencers,” Swiss public television SRF quotes her as saying.