The world of social media is turning into a school of sorts where teachers (read: rule regulators) will call out the defaulters for failing to follow guidelines. The UK regulator for advertising called Advertising Standard Agency (ASA) has launched a new initiative in a move to make influencers more transparent about what they are paid to promote on their social media. The advertising watchdog has named and shamed social media influencers who failed to disclose paid promotions on their accounts namely Chloe Ferry, Chloe Khan, Jodie Marsh, and Lucy Mecklenburgh.
These names have graced a designated website designed to highlight influencers who fall foul of the rules citing reasons as “routinely failing to clearly disclose when they are advertising to consumers.” interestingly Chloe Ferry, Chloe Khan, Jodie Marsh and Lucy Mecklenburgh all rose to prominence after their appearances on UK reality television shows and now boast hundreds of thousands of online followers and now all will unite again and spotlighted for three months. It is not only influencers who will be watched and controlled, but brands too need to follow all guidelines. “We will also be looking to take action against brands that repeatedly fail to disclose ads or do not provide assurances that they will properly label ads in future,” said the ASA.
The influencers who had been contacted beforehand to seek assurances that paid promotions would be highlighted as such, have erred by not reverting such assurances or gave them but then reneged. ASA chief executive Guy Parker said, “We prefer to work with influencers and brands to help them stick to the rules.” He continued, “It’s not difficult: be upfront and clear when posts and stories are ads. If this doesn’t bring about the changes we expect, we won’t hesitate to consider further sanctions.”
According to a study of 122 UK-based influencers in September last year, only one in four of the Instagram stories it assessed was advertising. Barely 35 percent of the posts were clearly labeled as a paid promotion. BBC News sought comment from two of the named influencers and this is what Khan had to say, “I feel like I don’t have freedom of speech. We should be given this information instead of having to try and guess the rules.”
[Via – The BBC]