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Influencer Disclosing: What is it, and why is it important?

19 April 2021

Influencer disclosing is something we at Urban Paws UK take very seriously.

Though we hire pet influencers, the same rules apply to all social media content creators. Whether you’re a gamer, a fashion blogger, or a pet influencer, you must disclose any and all promotional activity.

Disclosing can be a bit difficult to wrap your head around, so let’s break it down.

What is disclosing?

Influencer disclosing is the practice of letting your audience know when you are promoting a product or service through your social media channels or blog. Promoting any product or service as a pet influencer means that, by law, you are advertising that company.

Additionally, even if you haven’t been paid with money, you likely still have to disclose that the post is an advertisement. If you’ve been sent a free product or have benefitted from a free service, you’re still paid in the eyes of the law. This applies to pages of all sizes; you can have five followers or five million, and you still have to follow the rules. You may think that because you run a nano influencer page as a hobby the rules don’t apply to you, as it’s not your primary source of income. This is false; an agreement to promote a gift is advertising and must be disclosed.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you make clear which products you were paid to advertise and which you weren’t. Failure to disclose can land you in hot water with the Advertising Standards Authority. Times are changing, and the ASA no longer only monitors corporate advertising. Influencers can make significant earnings on promotional partnerships, and the ASA and CMA (Competition and Market’s Authority) are there to ensure that followers are not misled or manipulated by dishonest content creators.

So how do I disclose?

It’s quite simple. Essentially, you have to clarify within the post that you were paid to promote the product or service. For most content creators, influencer disclosing simply means including the word “AD”. However, you can include other terms, but some variation on the word “advertisement” is essential. You may also use “gifted” if there was no expectation of coverage from the brand. However, if you were gifted an item on the condition you promote it “gifted” is not acceptable. Additionally, some brands regularly gift products and services on the basis that an influencer becomes a “brand ambassador”. All posts promoting brands must also be individually disclosed. Simply mentioning that you are an ambassador in your biog copy is not enough.

Furthermore, you must disclose any partnerships upfront. This means that the disclosure must come at the start of the post so that followers are immediately aware it is an advert.

However, while it may seem a hassle, disclosure is ultimately a good thing. Influencer disclosing gives your audience the ability to see that you’re an honest and reputable content creator. While some might consider the need to reveal a corporate partnership a turnoff, in reality, it only strengthens the relationship between content creator and follower.

Essentially, disclosing makes influencer marketing easier for everyone. It is mandatory by law, and Urban Paws UK will only work with influencers who comply.

The topic is relatively extensive, and there is much more to it than we’ve outlined, so for a more thorough explanation of influencer disclosing, read the ASA’s official policy.

What is disclosing?

Influencer disclosing is the practice of letting your audience know when you are promoting a product or service through your social media channels or blog. Promoting any product or service as a pet influencer means that, by law, you are advertising that company.

Additionally, even if you haven’t been paid with money, you likely still have to disclose that the post is an advertisement. If you’ve been sent a free product or have benefitted from a free service, you’re still paid in the eyes of the law. This applies to pages of all sizes; you can have five followers or five million, and you still have to follow the rules.

You may think that because you run a nano influencer page as a hobby the rules don’t apply to you, as it’s not your primary source of income. This is false; an agreement to promote a gift is advertising and must be disclosed. It is your responsibility to ensure that you make clear which products you were paid to advertise and which you weren’t.

Failure to disclose can land you in hot water with the Advertising Standards Authority. Times are changing, and the ASA no longer only monitors corporate advertising. Influencers can make significant earnings on promotional partnerships, and the ASA and CMA (Competition and Market’s Authority) are there to ensure that followers are not misled or manipulated by dishonest content creators.

So how do I disclose?

It’s quite simple. Essentially, you have to clarify within the post that you were paid to promote the product or service. For most content creators, influencer disclosing simply means including the word “AD”. However, you can include other terms, but some variation on the word “advertisement” is essential. You may also use “gifted” if there was no expectation of coverage from the brand. However, if you were gifted an item on the condition you promote it “gifted” is not acceptable. Additionally, some brands regularly gift products and services on the basis that an influencer becomes a “brand ambassador”.

All posts promoting brands must also be individually disclosed. Simply mentioning that you are an ambassador in your biog copy is not enough.

Furthermore, you must disclose any partnerships upfront. This means that the disclosure must come at the start of the post so that followers are immediately aware it is an advert.

However, while it may seem a hassle, disclosure is ultimately a good thing. Influencer disclosing gives your audience the ability to see that you’re an honest and reputable content creator. While some might consider the need to reveal a corporate partnership a turnoff, in reality, it only strengthens the relationship between content creator and follower.

Essentially, disclosing makes influencer marketing easier for everyone. It is mandatory by law, and Urban Paws UK will only work with influencers who comply.

 

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