UK ad watchdog asks influencers to make sponsored posts identifiable

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
September 05, 2019, 12:03 PM UTC

The Advertising Standards Authority’s report says that people struggle to identify sponsored posts as ads.

Influencers should use #ad as the bare minimum to reveal that their paid promotion on social media is an advertisement, the ASA said in a report published on Thursday. The ruling comes after the watchdog undertook an 18-month review to understand the effectiveness of different factors and labels in paid promotions.

The report said while presentational factors might help in ensuring that influencer ad posts are identifiable as ads, ASA focus will be on brands being transparent through #ad. ASA’s chief executive Guy Parker said influencers and brands should “be upfront with followers, for example, by using #ad.”

An absence of clarity has led to investigations of various influencers for breaching advertising rules. Even celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski, “were sued for producing ambiguous and misleading content.”

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