ASAI Launch Guidance for Bloggers and Influencers

13 April 2018

PRII Members will be aware of the PRII Guidelines on Engagement with Social Media Influencers. These were drafted to update our code of best practice for members to reflect the new media / digital media landscape and to reiterate that the principles of engagement with traditional media hold true for social media, especially in terms of earned media and paid for media. These set out a number of principles for interaction for both PRII Members and, separately, their clients / employers on how they should approach their work with influencers. The PRII guidelines stress that it is unethical and illegal to pay for space endorsement or positive comment without that being clearly declared as such. The PRII guidelines can be downloaded here.
 
The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (The ASAI) have now also published guidance for Irish Bloggers and Influencers in relation to the transparency of online marketing communications.

These new FAQ’s were launched at an event held last Friday at the Facebook International HQ in Dublin. The ‘Inform and Engage’, event was attended by over 100 Irish bloggers, influencers and communications professionals. 

The new FAQ’s were designed in conjunction with previous ASAI guidance and the ASAI Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications in Ireland. Their is to educate and support Irish bloggers in relation to their influencer marketing campaigns so that they are legal, decent, honest and truthful, and to ensure transparency and best practice in the interest of consumers.

In general, rules of the advertising code are that marketing communications should be clearly designed and presented, should not misrepresent their true purpose; and advertising should be clearly identified and distinguished from editorial content.

The ASAI outlined what they consider as payment as follows: 

  • Compensation;
  • Cash;
  • Free product;
  • Free services;
  • Reciprocal arrangements; and
  • Benefit in kind.
The main message of the morning related to the distinction between Advertising and Editorial content, essentially if there is payment and if there is control, this must be disclosed.

They define control as an obligation to create content with direction from a brand owner.

If the product / brand has control over the copy then it must be disclosed and likewise if they pass on an item in return for a favourable review it must be disclosed.

The guidance on the ‘Recognisability of Marketing Communications’ issued by the ASAI outlines the general requirements of advertisers across social media including:
  • Independent Reviews, including Blogger and Vloggers;
  • Recognisability;
  • Key watch outs; and
  • Free Products

ASAI FAQ’s for Bloggers - click here.

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