ASA cracks down on influencers with Instagram ads.
The ASA announced this week that six reality TV influencers who consistently fail to disclose ads on Instagram despite numerous warnings, are to be subject to further sanctions. Emily Vickers, Paralegal at PromoVeritas, takes a closer look at why influencers are on the ASA’s radar and how brands can ensure that their own celebrity endorsements are always run right.
Love Island contestants Francesca Allen, Jess Gale, Eve Gale, Belle Hassan and Anna Vakili and media personality, Jodie Marsh have all appeared on the ASA’s hitlist after repeatedly failing to disclose when their social media posts were ads, or they failed to provide assurances that they would do so in the future.
The ASA have now taken out ads on Instagram against the influencers, highlighting to consumers their continued failure to adhere to the rules. The ads say:
“[Name] has been sanctioned by the UK’s ad regulator for not declaring ads on this platform. Be aware that productsand services recommended or featured by this influencer may have been paid for by those brands. Our non-compliant social media influencer page at asa.org.uk is regularly updated to inform consumers of those who break these rules.”
Amber Gill, another Love Island graduate has been added to the ASA’s hitlist and will continue to be monitored, with similar sanctions available to the ASA if she continues to ignore the rules.
How to make sure your influencers follow the rules
1. Careful contracts
Coupled with the recent uproar over Molly Mae, Elle Darby, Gemma Markland and Kate Hayes it is imperative that brands ensure their influencer contracts are watertight, as they can also find themselves in hot water if influencers engaged by them don’t follow the rules since both the brand and the influencer are responsible for wrongdoings.
2. Make sure they know how to be transparent
As highlighted above, it is important that influencers are transparent with their followers which is simple enough to do. The easiest way is to use “Ad” or the Paid Partnership tool which lets the influencer’s followers know that they’ve been paid, loaned or given something for free in their post or story, this forms the basis for guidance that both the ASA and the CMA have provided for influencers. When the influencer and the brand have a commercial relationship, the ASA considers that both parties are jointly responsible for ensuring that any promotional activity conducted on the influencers account about the brand is compliant with the CAP Code.
3. Be clear about scope
The contract should include what the collaboration is, what/where the influencer needs to post, how many posts the influencer needs to create and on what platform they are posting. It would be advisable for the brand to review and approve the content before it is posted to ensure that it is appropriate and in line with any applicable rules and regulations. Remuneration to which the influencer is entitled must be clearly defined with payment arrangements also clearly detailed. Brands and agencies should also be clear on the ownership of the content and it’s subsequent re-use either by the brand or the influencer.
4. Rule out the competition?
Depending on the scope of the contract, it is important to include exclusivity and non-competition clauses to ensure that brands campaigns aren’t threatened if the influencer promoted a competitor’s products at the same time.
5. Protect your brand’s reputation
YouTuber Elle Darby was recently dropped by her talent management and her influencer marketing agency due to offensive tweets from 2011 that had resurfaced. This highlights the importance of including anti-disparagement clauses in influencer contracts. Unforgivable comments don’t give agencies or brands a right to end an influencer’s contract, however anti-disparagement clauses contain terms that will allow the agency/brand to terminate the contract in the event that an influencer does anything that might encourage disparaging views or otherwise brings the agency or brand into disrepute.
PromoVeritas provide brands and agencies with all the tools they need to ensure that their influencer relationships run safely, smoothly and effectively via our Influencer Legal Services. These include contracts, background checks, training and more.