The Italian government is fed up with the fake donation cake story and is introducing stricter controls on charity influencers. Meanwhile, the late Chiara Ferragni's legal problems increase.
Those who rise high fall low – a small truth that in the end even the largest number of followers does not help. After the Milan Public Prosecutor's Office opened an investigation against well-known fashion entrepreneur Chiara Ferragni for unfair competition related to alleged charity campaigns, the Italian government is planning new rules for influencers. This should allow for stricter controls.
Meanwhile, the 36-year-old's legal problems mount. After investigations into suspected “serious fraud” in the sale of Christmas cakes, the Public Prosecutor's Office is now investigating the distribution of Easter eggs and dolls, reports the “”. It should also be noted that Chiara Ferragni, as sales ambassador for Oro brand biscuits in 2020, stated that she would dedicate all profits to the fight against Covid. Confidence in the sincerity of perhaps the best-known Italian woman is currently quite manageable.
Ferragni, in turn, apologized to his millions of followers, but only admitted “communication errors”. She announced in a video, the Children's Hospital of Turin Regina Margherita donate one million euros. Even though the influencer and her lawyers are confident of victory, the Public Prosecutor's Office now suspects that the “communication error” was systematic.
Clear signaling of the purpose and value of the donation
In any case, the case is spreading widely in Italy. A new bill stipulates that the purpose of the donation and the recipient of the products provided must be clearly indicated, as well as the quantity or proportion intended for a purpose. In case of violation, the antitrust authority is responsible for imposing sanctions of between 5,000 and 50,000 euros.
The amount of the fine is determined in each individual case based on the list price of the individual products and the quantity of goods sold. In case of repeated violations, the influencer's activity will be suspended for a period of one month to one year. The antitrust authority must also be informed of the deadline within which the amount intended for charitable purposes must be paid.
One million euros for “unfair commercial practices”
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Monday that the government would draft a new law on the transparency of charitable projects. “We are working on a bill that would require commercial activities that also have charitable purposes to indicate on the packaging of products sold who the funds are going to, what they are used for, and how much is actually going to charity,” she explained. Meloni.
The Milan Public Prosecutor's Office's investigation against Chiara Ferragni for fraud mainly concerns the marketing of a Christmas cake that she “designed” for the confectionery manufacturer Balocco. The marketing of this product gave customers the impression that donations were being collected for children with cancer. However, Balocco transferred 50 thousand euros to the hospital long before the campaign – regardless of the actual sales figures. Ferragni and Balocco's company were fined one million euros in December by the competition body for “unfair commercial practices”. (Ag/sh)