Date Posted: Monday 22nd March 2021
The UK’s advertising watchdog has warned influencers that they could be put ‘on notice’ if they flout advertising rules online. The new rulings come after a report by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found few than expected social media influencers complying with advertising regulations. ASA monitored 122 UK-based influencers in September, assessing Instagram Stories, posts, IGTV and reels to check compliance rates. The research discovered that one in four stories were advertising with only 35% clearly labelled as such.
In summary, the ASA found:
Of the sectors monitored, beauty had the majority share of ad numbers online but with just 45% complying with advertising guidelines, followed by fashion with 36%.
ASA Chief Executive, Guy Parker said: “There’s simply no excuse not to make clear to the public when positive messages in posts have been paid-for by a brand. While some influencers have got their houses in order, our monitoring shows how much more there is to do. We’ve given influencers and brands fair warning. We’re now targeting our follow-up monitoring and preparing for enforcement action.”
In response, ASA has said that it must be obvious to consumers before the read, 'like' or otherwise interact with a social media post if what they are engaging with is advertising. In most cases, the use of #ad (or similar) is the clearest way of communicating the commercial nature of social media content. Alternatively, a platform’s own disclosure tools, such as Instagram’s Paid Partnership tool, can also help to distinguish advertising from other content.
ASA has contacted all the influencers, as well as a number of brands, and put them on notice that if future spot checks on any platform reveal problems, it will take enforcement action. That might include promoting their non-compliance on a dedicated page on our website, promoting their non-compliance through ASA's own targeted paid search ads and working directly with the platforms and the Competition and Markets Authority on further enforcement action.
You can read the full report here.
The DIARY directory platform provides fashion, beauty and lifestyle industry news, interviews, dates, vacancies and contacts. Our huge database of contacts includes thousands of digital influencers, media titles (UK and overseas) and their editorial teams, freelance journalists and creatives, PRs and brands and representative agencies. Live and sortable social media stats for entries allow comparative analysis and insight within filtered sections, plus additional engagement metrics for industryINFLUENCERS.
Get in touch to discover how DIARY directory membership would benefit you.