TikTok Agrees to Improve EU Consumer Rights, Avoiding Potential Sanctions

TikTok, EU, children, ads, brands

TikTok will be boosting protections aimed to help children avoid persuasive ads on the platform, Reuters reported Tuesday (June 21).

TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, has faced several complaints from various European Union consumer groups, and the company faced the possibility of sanctions.

In 2021, the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) said that TikTok has “failed” to protect children from “hidden advertising and inappropriate content.” Following this, the company had multiple meetings with both consumer groups and the European Commission to find solutions.

TikTok will make several changes moving forward, including an option that allows users to easily report ads that might goad children into buying things or getting their parents to make the purchase.

Additionally, the report said branded content won’t be allowed to promote “inappropriate” products, and the company will clarify how to get rewards from its platform — with paid ads labeled more boldly.

“All social media platforms are required to play by the rules and make sure that consumers can easily identify commercial content, including when promoted by influencers,” Commission Justice Chief Didier Reynders said in a statement, per Reuters.

However, things might not be satisfactory on all ends. BEUC Deputy Director General Ursula Pachl said there had been “over a year” of dialogue with TikTok, but “significant concerns” were still unaddressed.

TikTok said it plans to continue improving its features.

PYMNTS wrote recently that several TikTok influencers from the U.K. are leaving the platform’s eCommerce program, citing low pay, long hours and products that aren’t satisfactory.

See also: TikTok Sees Exodus of Influencers From UK Shopping Service

This shows how far the company’s live shopping concept still has to go to be on the footing of its rivals. It debuted last year in the U.K., which represented the first time it was available outside of Asia. The shopping program allowed live shopping to be accessed through live broadcasts on TikTok.

The company said it wanted to “redefine shopping culture,” and that there had been good effects for smaller businesses, raising revenues on the platform and finding new audiences.

It hasn’t caught on universally — several big creators said they saw pay cuts, as well as issues with shipping.