Who: The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and various influencers
Where: United Kingdom
When: 21 June 2021
Law stated as at: 25 August 2021
The ASA has turned up the heat on social influencers. In March, the ASA released its Influencer Monitoring Report, examining levels of ad disclosure on Instagram and the tone through their press releases and reports on this topic is increasingly demonstrating their frustration with the low levels of compliance with the labelling of influencer content.
The ASA has announced the launch of a dedicated page on its website that will “name and shame” non-compliant influencers – clearly in the hope that if they don’t improve compliance then reputation conscious advertisers will cease to work with them.
So far Chloe Ferry, Chloe Khan, Jodie Marsh, Lucy Mecklenburgh and five former Love Island contestants have been contacted and asked to provide “an assurance” that they would include clear and upfront ad labels in their advertising posts. However, they have now been named and shamed as they either failed to provide that assurance or subsequently reneged on it. Named influencers will appear on the webpage for three months and removal will be subject to a period of enhanced monitoring spot checks where their content and its labelling is concerned.
The ASA has warned that this new dedicated page isn’t the end of potential action. If the influencers named on this webpage continue to label their content incorrectly, the ASA will implement further sanctions and indicate that they are considering taking out ads against the influencers in question, working with social media platforms to have their content removed or referring them to statutory bodies for possible fines. The ASA’s focus also remains on the brands that don’t ensure content is labelled properly but this is a clear shift to target the influencers directly as well.
Why this matters:
The project shows that the ASA’s focus on influencers is ongoing, which places pressure on brands to ensure that their influencers get their labelling correct. This project by the ASA is also a great example of how the ASA is a proactive regulator and unafraid to actively identify issues and take action.