You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Clampdown on social media ‘influencers’

Written by: Emma Lunn
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has warned it will ‘name and shame’ influencers who fail to disclose paid content.

The ASA monitored 24,000 Instagram ‘stories’ and found that a quarter of them were ads, but just 35% were clearly labelled as such.

So-called ‘influencers’ are paid by brands to promote companies and their products on social media accounts such as TikTok and Instagram.

The ASA published guidance in 2018 which set out the rules influencers are expected to stick to. Posts where influencers have been paid or received another benefit from a brand need to labelled as advertising or sponsored, or marked with a specific hashtag (for example, #ad).

However, the ASA has found unacceptable levels of non-compliance with the rules. The watchdog said it had given ‘fair warning’ to influencers as to what was expected of them and it would now look to name and shame the worst offenders.

The watchdog also warned that influencers should not rely on bios or past posts to make it clear to consumers they are connected to a product or brand.

Complaints to the ASA about influencers increased by 55% last year, from 1,979 to 3,144.

Guy Parker, ASA chief executive, said: “There’s simply no excuse not to make clear to the public when positive messages in posts have been paid-for by a brand. While some influencers have got their houses in order, our monitoring shows how much more there is to do. We’ve given influencers and brands fair warning. We’re now targeting our follow-up monitoring and preparing for enforcement action.

Neena Bhati, head of campaigns at Which?, said: “Social media users should be able to easily tell what is and what isn’t an ad on platforms like Instagram or TikTok. Influencers and the brands they work with should know the rules and must not muddy the waters between paid-for advertising and authentic endorsements.

“It’s good to see that the ASA is taking a proactive approach to dealing with influencers flouting the rules. The ASA must continue to keep track of this issue and work with other regulators to take strong action where necessary – sending a clear message that deceiving consumers for cash on social media will not be tolerated.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

Few people had heard of ‘furlough’ before March 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic thrust the idea of bein...

The savings accounts paying the most interest

If one of your jobs this month is to get your finances in order, moving your savings to a higher paying deal i...

Coronavirus and your finances: what help can you get in the second lockdown?

News and updates on everything to do with coronavirus and your personal finances.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week

Privacy Preference Center





Read previous post:
Insurers pay £200m in Covid-related death claims

The equivalent of just over £550,000 a day was paid in coronavirus death claims in 2020 according to figures from...