Draft of the charity bill: fines of up to 50 thousand euros

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By John

Fines of up to 50 thousand euroswith sanctions also published on the sites of influencers and responsible producers, and the risk of suspension of the activity for a year. The move to ensure more transparency in commercial operations with charitable purposes comes in a bill that the government is preparing to launch in the Council of Ministers on Thursdayas announced in recent days by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who just over a month ago, at the rally in Atreju, raised the issue by talking about «influencers who make tons of money by putting on clothes or bags or promoting expensive panettoni making people believe that charity will be done , but whose price will only serve to pay millionaires’ fees.”

An implicit reference to Chiara Ferragni, who later ended up under investigation also for advertising an Easter egg and a doll. Thus this provision risks being easily branded as the “Ferragni law”. Events which, as the Prime Minister noted in her latest public statement, highlighted «a hole in terms of transparency in the regulation of commercial activities that also have a charitable purpose. Wanted or not wanted, now you can stumble upon it.” And this explains the coming squeeze.

Pending approval by the government, the draft highlights the obligation to indicate on the products the purpose of the proceeds and the recipient of the charity, as well as the amount or share intended for that purpose, which must also be communicated to the Antitrust before marketing . The Authority will be competent for sanctions, which will range from 5 thousand to 50 thousand euros, in an amount determined “in each individual case” by referring to the list price of each product and the number of
units put up for sale. «In less serious cases – it is foreseen in the draft – the sanction is reduced by up to two thirds. In case of recurrence of the violation, the suspension of the activity is ordered for a period of from one month to one year”.

The deadline within which the amount earmarked for charity will be paid must also be indicated to the Antitrust Authority. And within three months
from that deadline the producer will have to communicate the payment. The sanctioning measures will not only be published on a specific section of the institutional website of the Competition Authority, but also on those of the producer or professional who violated the obligations (including influencers, therefore), who will also have to pay the costs for the publication “in one or more newspapers, as well as through any other means deemed appropriate in relation to the need to fully inform consumers”.