Just like an advert you’d see on the television or in a newspaper, the ASA exists to protect consumers from being exposed to false and/or harmful information – and social media is no different.
By Yasmin Musker, Corporate and Commercial Solicitor
The ASA last published an influencer guide in September 2018, and, after further research and feedback on ad labelling, the ASA has today published a second edition with further guidance and a helpful flowchart for both brands and influencers.
Focusing on how to make ads clear, what the rules are and who enforces them, the downloadable guide includes an ABC cheat sheet with ‘relatable’ terminology and a simple flow chart which are designed to make complying with advertising codes as simple as possible.
At a time when influencer marketing is dominating the social landscape, the ASA is continuing to clamp down on both influencers and brands that fail to comply with the rules. Just like an advert you’d see on the television or in a newspaper, the ASA exists to protect consumers from being exposed to false and/or harmful information – and social media is no different.
Influencers that enter into commercial relationships with brands or agencies must ensure that their followers and consumers are not misled by any content produced. Product-mentions in YouTube videos or brand tags on Instagram stories could all be deemed as some form of advertising and at Primas, we cover this area of law, so must stay up to date with legislation to ensure that our clients are complying too.
The ASA has posted this handy ABC guide on what brands and influencers need to know when it comes to the use of #AD:
– Authenticity – content creators must be clear when it comes to marking content with AD when required
– Brands – brands can pay for exposure in the form of money or gifted products, but this must all be marked with AD
– Control – if a brand has controlled a specific message posted on an influencer’s platform, it must be marked with an AD
– Discount Codes – even if an influencer hasn’t received payment, a brand partnership must be made clear with AD
– Enforcement – the ASA also enforces extra rules regarding products in the gambling, alcohol and dieting industries
– Followers – consumers must be protected and content creators must be crystal clear about their brand partnerships
– Gifts – freebies and gifted products count as “payment-in-kind” as must be labelled with AD when posting
– Hashtag – #AD must appear clearly visible at the front of the post – don’t take the chance!
If you’re a brand and you want to make sure your influencer partnerships are ASA compliant or if you’re a content creator and you need to chat through new guidelines, please contact me directly on Yasmin.Musker@primaslaw.co.uk.