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Recent CCPC and ASAI Guidelines for Influencer Social Media Ads

If you collaborate with influencers, it’s essential to be informed about the latest ‘Guidance on Influencer Advertising and Marketing’ concerning transparent labelling of advertisements on social media. These guidelines have been recently released by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).

The newly issued guidelines offer clear instructions for both brands and agencies, particularly concerning the promotion of ‘gifted’ items and the advertising of own-brand products and services. 

This collaborative guidance stems from thorough research, which involved experiments utilising eye-tracking technology and a survey encompassing 500 social media users. Additionally, input from a group of influencers was sought to review the guidance and provide feedback to the CCPC.

 

 

So, what are the key pieces of information that you need to be aware of when working with influencers?

According to these new guidelines, the top tip for influencers to remember is ‘If in doubt, label it!’. It’s in both the brand and influencers best interest to adhere to these new guidelines, as failure to do so could lead to reputational damage, not to mention the loss of followers on social media due to seeming untrustworthy or dishonest.

Benefits

If an influencer benefits from mentioning a brand on social media, then this must be obvious to their followers. A benefit can be determined as receiving financial compensation, commissions, earnings from sales, discounts, ownership of company shares, potential business contracts, products or services provided as gifts or loans, invitations to events or experiences, and any other form of benefit. It can also include an instance where an influencer has sought a complimentary product or service from a brand, or when a brand has sent a free product or service as a gift, without anticipating any promotional posts in return.

Gifting

If you plan to ‘gift’ an influencer, whether that be in the form of free products or services, event invitations, hotel stays or restaurant visits, and this results in said influencer posting about the item, then this post should be clearly tagged as #Ad. Otherwise, #Gifted is also acceptable. An influencer does not need to have a formal agreement in place with your brand to be tied to these rules. When they receive a benefit, of any kind, they must use the correct tags.

new guidance on social media advertising for influencers

What counts as promotional and commercial content?

When you collaborate with an influencer, your promotional content take many forms, such as posts, images, videos, audio, or expiring media. Examples of commercial content can include the following (all these types of posts should be tagged as #Ad):

  • Ads
  • Advertising your own brand
  • Reviews resulting from a benefit
  • On-going sponsorship
  • Brand ambassador role
  • Discount codes
  • Affiliate links
  • Dedicated pages on retailer websites
  • Promotional content (including self-promotion)
  • Sponsored competitions (including gifted prizes)
  • Sharing of content originally posted by a brand (reposts)
  • Content about free products, services, trips, event invites or experiences

new guidance on social media advertising for influencers

Primary and secondary labelling

Labels, or tags, can now be segmented into primary and secondary groups. 

At least one of the following primary labels must now be visible in any commercial content posted by an influencer:

  • #Ad (or #Fógra for Irish language content) 
  • Label or tag provided by the platform (e.g. Paid partnership) 
  • #Gifted (or #Féirín for Irish content) 

The following secondary labels must only be used in addition to, and following, a primary label:

  • #BrandAmbassador
  • #Sponsored
  • #OwnBrand
  • #Collaboration
  • #Affiliate
  • #BrandInvestor
  • #PressDrop
  • #PRinvite
  • #PRstay
  • #PreviousCommercialRelationship

And, of course, any labels used must be clearly visible to an influencer’s audience. i.e. do not use a white label on a white background.

Understanding and adhering to this new ‘Guidance on Influencer Advertising and Marketing’  is crucial for brands and agencies engaging in influencer collaborations. The landscape of influencer marketing is constantly evolving, and staying well-versed in the latest guidelines is essential to maintain authenticity, transparency, and compliance.

Interested in learning more about how collaborating with influencers could amplify your brands messaging? Get in touch  or call +353 1 5311 777

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