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The ASA report on “unacceptable” influencer activity

The ASA report on “unacceptable” influencer activity

The Innovation team at Instinctif harness the best of the future to deliver market-leading ideas in the present. The team’s specialism spans digital strategy and marketing, data & analytics, and strategic brand. With the world and news agenda fast-changing around us, now’s the time to get agile in how we think and work.

This newsletter brings you the best of the week in the “new normal”, straight from the desk of the Innovation team.

Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool for brands over the past years. And central to its success is transparency and authenticity.

The result? Influencers – and the brands who work with them – are coming under increased scrutiny from the public and organisations to show that they’re adhering to the rules.

Instagram is one of the primary channels for influencer marketing, with 96% of marketers considering it their preferred channel of choice for influencers.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has recently published a report looking at influencers’ rate of compliance of ad disclosure on Instagram. This research was conducted as the ASA saw a 55% increase in complaints about influencers in the past year (from 1,979 in 2019 to 3,144 in 2020), regarding disclosure of adverts, particularly on Instagram.

The ASA monitored 122 UK-based influencer accounts on the platform over the period of three weeks, looking at over 24,000 posts, Stories, IGTV, and reels.

The exercise found that nearly a quarter of the posts examined were ads, and only 35% of those were compliant and labelled correctly. The ASA has contacted the influencers and brands involved directly.

This situation is still ongoing, according to Guy Parker, the chief executive of the ASA, “We have given influencers and brands fair warning. We are now targeting our follow-up monitoring and preparing for enforcement action.” He has assured that the ASA has provided advice, training and resources for influencers and brands to help them understand the rules.

What was wrong in particular?

Inconsistent disclosure across Stories, IGTV, Reels, posts – if an ad spans a number of consecutive Stories, or across a post and a Story for example, it was not clear that the all of the content was part of the same ad, as only one piece of content was labelled correctly.

Visibility of ad labels – a Story requires an ad label; these labels were difficult to spot, either in a small font or hidden away through a similar colour to the background.

Affiliate content is still an ad –  the correct advertising labels must be used to
disclose upfront, ‘#affiliate’ does not suffice.

Own-brand content – cannot rely on information in your bio or past posts to show you are connected to a product.

The ASA report also provides recommendations to address each of the issues flagged above.

It’s an important reminder for brands, influencers – and those of us who advise them – to stay abreast of, and compliant with, the rules and regulations governing online behaviour. In doing so, we’ll maintain confidence in influencers and the important messages they share.

TikTok. Not just a Ke$ha song. It’s the short-form social networking platform that creates influencers from bedroom hobbyists.
And its new ‘Ads Library’ has just made it easier to search the best-performing ad posts on the channel.

So, if you’re planning to run an advertising campaign on TikTok and are hoping to get some inspiration/learn what kind of content’s worked for other brands, you can head to ‘Top Ads’ to filter the content by “Ad Type”, “Region” and “Industry”.

Visit here to whet your creative appetite.

This week’s tip comes from Associate Director, Gareth Sheehy

Good artists copy, great artists steal.

Those are the words of Pablo Picasso. Or it may have been some other guy. Who knows these days, right?
Anyway, that’s not really the point. The point is, we’re all busy; whether it be teaching your 10-year-old photosynthesis, the dog to sit or simply working with clients (that other small part of our lives) to deliver brilliant work. And clever tools that help us do that are in short supply.

Infograpify is one of those tools. In short, it’s a platform that has pre-created beautifully designed PowerPoint templates. Downloaded straight to your desktop, across loads of different options and designs – funnels, gants, infographics, marketing plans, the list is endless.

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