There’s been a big change in the world of Instagram Influence lately, particularly with the newly enforced rules from the ASA re advertising content. Insta Influencers must now follow the code or risk a good old fashioned slap on the wrist. Here’s the highlights..
- If a post is an advert, then this MUST be displayed in the caption using #ad #advertising #advert or #advertisement (generally used in the hashtag form)
- Influencers are being warned to steer clear of using #sponsoredcontent, ‘In Association with’, @’ing the brand or simply thanking the brand as they believe this doesn’t make the advertising aspect clear enough
- For those hoping to bury the #ad amongst a seas of hashtags, think again. The ASA recommends it should be featured at the beginning of the post copy or in the title to make it as clear as possible to users.
But what counts as a promotional post? The ASA has listed exactly what counts as an advert:
- When a brand has paid an influencer for content development
- If an influencer is posting about their own products, services or events they are hosting
- ‘Affiliate Marketing’ where the influencer provides a discount code for a particular brand therefore earning money from it
- Where the brand retains control of the content - so where pre-post approval is part of the process, or where copy and graphics are supplied for posting - or providing products as a ‘gift’.
So whilst it’s still something of a minefield there does at least appear to be some clarity from the ASA. Adherence is of course dependent on enforcement – will the ASA be prepared to call out celebrities who don’t comply? Watch this space.