Influencer marketing is on the rise, brands just love influencers to show off their products. Brands – make sure social media influencers are following the rules because influencers are going to be in big trouble. They are not stating they are being paid. Which includes gifts to show products on their social media platforms. The rules state that – any reward received for an endorsement, is made clear.
And this week we have seen many reports that The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have begun investigations. These investigations are to find out whether celebrities and influencers on social media are making paid promotions sufficiently clear.
Brands – make sure social media influencers are following the rules
We know they are not. I know of many posts that have been paid for or given gifts for promotions that have not been stated. People don’t either don’t want to say or don’t realize that any payment, free gift or perk means that the post is now an ad and it needs to be labeled as such. Seriously though most influencers now are sharing so many ads – its not an influence to me, as they are just spamming brand stuff, they don’t need a hashtag.
The Independent reported this week
That influencers are actually now being investigated to see if they have been paid and not declared this on their social media updates or youtube videos.
Social media stars promoting goods on Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms are being probed by the competition regulator over concerns that paid advertisements are not being properly declared.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation on Tuesday into the labeling of online endorsements.
Some celebrities and influencers have a considerable amount of commercial power thanks to millions of followers who watch their channels to see where they go on holiday, what they wear, which products they use, the books they read and more.
The Advertising Standards Authority states that “the brand normally has primary responsibility for complying with the rules” and so it follows that they should be educating influencers and consumers about the rules also.
Who is responsible
The ASA Advertising Standards Authority says
Under the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing, the brands (the advertiser) normally has primary responsibility for complying with the rules. Others involved in preparing or publishing marketing communications, such as agencies, publishers and other service suppliers, also accept an obligation to abide by the Code.
What are the ASA guidelines
How to declare your posts
If you have been paid for or received any compensation such as a gift or discount – You must include #AD so that it is visible in your caption/post/video and not mixed in with other hashtags.
If you have been given something or paid to give an honest review which isn’t interfered with by the Brand you must put #sponsored
The label should make clear that the content is an ad. There isn’t one specific label that advertisers and publishers must use, but ‘ad’ and ‘advertisement feature’ are suitable.
Because ‘sponsorship’ is not the same as ‘advertising’, labels such as ‘sp’, ‘spon’ and ‘sponsored post’ are all unlikely to stick to the rules, so we strongly caution against their use. If something is an ad it cannot also be sponsored; labelling it as such is likely to mislead because it suggests that the brand had no editorial control and that the content is therefore primarily independent.
Statements such as ‘brought to you by’, ‘in partnership with’ and ‘thanks to our friends at…’ are all ambiguous as to whether the content is advertising or is sponsored material. As such, these should be avoided as well.
So even though really the come back should be on brands. It is up to influencers not to look like spammy. Not like they are sharing fake news, and let people know they are getting paid to share. Its up to you Brands – make sure social media influencers are following the rules