Ex-Playboy Bunny investigated over ‘false followers and misleading advertising’

A former Playboy Bunny is being investigated for counts of misleading advertising and alleged false followers on her social media accounts.

Asia Valente, 27, has maintained over two million follows on Instagram, but questions now hang over the model's head on whether these accounts are real.

Italy's antitrust agency has since opened up an investigation into the legitimacy of the accounts, as well as misleading claims from Valente. The former Playboy star is under scrutiny, as is Facebook parent company, Meta.

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Meta is under investigation too with an antitrust claim that the company should have placed limits on Valente's account due to the undeclared "commercial" use alleged.

Nicola Berardi, a lawyer involved in the case, said: "The authority says it has collected some information but not much more is known. Similar proceedings were opened in 2019 but to date I have not yet seen any sanctions.

"However, this is the first time we have talked about fake followers." Berardi later claimed the antitrust investigation should be logged under "unfair commercial practice".

Berardi, speaking to Fanpage, added: "The centre of everything is to understand whether a content published on social media by a person who has a following is linear or whether there is a commercial relationship behind it.

"This relationship can be more or less marked. There can only be an invitation or a request for a service paid in money." The investigation into Valente has since become the subject of a legal study, FQ Magazine reported.

Valente, who previously appeared on Italy's Celebrity Big Brother edition, has since made her Instagram account private.

The former Playboy star is now under investigation, with proceedings carried over from 2019 still ongoing and likely to continue into the new year when changes to antitrust law are made, with Italy's antitrust agency AGCM then in charge of applying a Digital Service Act request against Valente.

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