Labelling sponsored posts, yes or no?
I’ve said it before: a good influencer campaign does not look like a campaign. It integrates the brand and the influencer’s personality and values so well, that the collaboration looks natural.
But that it looks natural does not mean that the nature of the relationship should be hidden: if it fits, why conceal it? If brand and influencer are happy to have found each other and the collaboration is mutually beneficial, everyone wins – including the consumer, who gets to discover new brands, new products, new points of view.
The ruling: long live transparency
During 2016, both the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the USA’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have made clearer their opinion on the matter: influencers must disclose if they’re being compensated for promoting the brand, product or service they’re posting about. Recommendations include the use of the hashtags #ad or #spon. While some voices claim the measure could make the posts seem less authentic, others say it’s not enough. In practice, many brands and influencers continue to ignore the rules, be it because they (influencer, agency and/or brand) are not aware of them, or because they believe labelling their content will result in worse organic performance.
I’m of the opinion that relationships between brands and consumers need to be as transparent as possible. And if that means requesting influencers to tag their content appropriately or mention they’re “working with” or “partnering with” the brand, why not?
“The hardest part is when you only have 140 characters or a few seconds of a snapchat, how do you make the most of it?” – iJustine for Bloomberg Technology
I’m sure we’ll find a solution.