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Consumer Protection: Improved guidance on advertising issued to social media influencers and affiliates

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The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and the Competition & Marketing Authority (CMA) have issued joint guidance to influencers and affiliates to assist with making their advertising clearer and that consumers are aware of the advertising. The published guidance is titled Influencers' guide to making clear that ads are ads and has been released alongside the ASA’s Influencers' Flowchart - Is my post an ad and do I need to label it?Infographic: Influencers' Cheat Sheet and Infographic: Affiliate Marketing.

From now on where an influencer receives payment for advertising, the CMA can take action and where the advertiser has asserted editorial control over what the influencer has published the ASA can investigate and take action. Affiliate marketing, such as banner adverts to promote a third party’s products fall within the ambit of the ASA. The ASA has advised as an absolute minimum to include prominent labelling such as "Ad". The emphasis is on any label or other means used to alert consumers to the advertising before they click/engage, that it is prominent; it is appropriate for the channel and suitable for all potential devices so that it is clear on smart phones and apps too. Affiliates and influencers who accept editorial control by the advertiser must also ensure their advertising complies with the ASA's codes generally.

This article has been published as part of the latest issue of our Commercial Brief, detailed within the In Brief section. You can view the other In Brief articles below:

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice. All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.