Relevant legislation
  • The Advertising Code Social Media & Influencer Marketing - self-regulation.
  • De Social Code: YouTube - self-regulation.
  • Articles 6:193a-6:193j Dutch Civil Code - provides protection against unfair commercial practices.
Relevant organisations issuing guidelines
  • Dutch Advertising Code Authority ("Stichting Reclame Code" in Dutch).
  • YouTube vloggers in collaboration with the Dutch Media Authority ("Commissariaat voor de Media" in Dutch).
  • The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets ("Autoriteit Consument & Markt" in Dutch).
Responsible authorities
  • Advertising Code Committee ("Reclame Code Commissie" in Dutch).
  • The Dutch Media Authority has oversight over the commercial media service providers (but does not yet have authority with regard to online content creators, such as YouTube vloggers).
  • The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets ("Autoriteit Consument & Markt" in Dutch).
Enforcement measures 
  • The Dutch Advertising Code Authority deals with the self-regulation system of advertising in the Netherlands. Anyone who feels that an advertisement violates the Dutch Advertising Code may submit a complaint to the Advertising Code Committee. In case of violation of the Code, the Committee will recommend that the advertisers involved discontinue such a way of advertising. All decisions are published in an online database that is accessible to third parties. In the case of a continued violation, the advertiser can be labelled "non-compliant".
  • Participants are encouraged to voluntarily act in accordance with the guidelines of De Social Code: YouTube.
  • No fines have been published by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets for breach of consumer protection laws on social media. 
Relevant decisions
  • RCC 2017/00767: The Advertising Code Committee is not competent to rule on vlogs when it has not been established that there is incitement or influence by an advertiser. In that case, there is no question of advertising within the meaning of the Advertising Code.
  • RCC 2017/00518: the mentioning of a slogan does not always make it sufficiently clear for consumers that there is a paid cooperation between the influencer and the advertiser.
  • CvB 2018/00633: The average consumer will understand that when it closes an advertisement video prematurely, relevant information of the advertisement might be missed.
Practical advice

The Dutch Advertising Code Authority has published several examples on its website that can be used to make clear that there is a relevant relationship between the influencer and advertiser.

For example in relation to video (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram TV), several example phrases are provided that can be included orally or via text in the video and/or in the description under the video. When technically possible the text should be visible on all devices without having to click a "see more" button.

In relation to photos (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), several examples of hashtags are provided that can be used in or under the picture or message.

In the case of a chain of temporary messages (Snapchat, Instagram Stories), the hashtag should in any case be included in the first and last published post and remain visible as long as the content is available.

Key Contact

Manon Rieger-Jansen

Nina Dorenbosch