Did you know Ad Standards updates took place recently? Are you an influencer, public relations person or a marketing professional? Then you need to know what that means for influencer marketing and business.
Ad Standards is the standard for how to disclose properly if you’ve been paid, or compensated with goods, trips, or events. Basically any material connection must be disclosed. If you are an influencer working in Canada then you need to pay attention to these guidelines. Transparency and authenticity are important to anyone who advertises. Advertising should truthful, fair, and accurate.
While many influencers already know how to disclose properly and are familiar with Canadian Ad Standards, some might be new and not aware. In fact social media changes so much that it is vital to keep up with changes. This information will help ensure that influencers disclose properly. Read more here on the updated influencer marketing standards.
First of All What’s a Material Connection
Any connection between an entity providing a product or service and an endorser, reviewer, influencer, or person making a representation that may affect the weight or credibility fo the representation, and includes: benefits and incentives, such as monetary or other compensation, free products with or without any conditions attached, discounts, contest and sweepstakes entries, and any employment relationship.
Payment is not just money. It can include free products as well.
Someone who possesses greater than average potential to influence others. The people whom influencers affect are defined as a person or group of people who take action or change opinion/behavior as the result of exposure to information provided by an influencer. This includes blogs, social media sites, or other media publications. Youtubers, Instagrammers, Snapchatters all included.
What You Need to Remember:
The Biggest NEWS for Me as an Influencer working in this space for 9 years:
- BE super clear on video when there is a material connection to an object or brand. Make disclosure upfront and identifiable in videos, so viewers can see it immediately. (So on Youtube for instance include in the video, and/ or mention during the conversation. Youtube provides a disclosure box that you can tick when editing your video.) Be clear.
- Video is the biggest change in the last few years and Platforms like Snapchat, Youtube and Instagram have grown dramatically. BUT not everyone has kept up or noted the need to disclose properly on video. You must disclose on any and all video platforms as well as written platforms. Facebook Lives and Instagram lives also – use disclosure in the content.
- Snapchat – include a #ad notice on any snaps where money or product has been exchanged.
- Instagram Stories – Disclose clearly at the start of the story. You can disclose on each image in the story but it is not necessary.
- Do not hide disclosure – it must be clear. Use hashtag disclosure such as #ad or #sponsored. For example, #ad, should always be the first hashtag in any social media post. I am going to repeat this because it is important. Disclose along with every endorsement. Each sponsored post, video, or social media post should have a disclosure. Disclose independently of social media networks or channel-specific settings. For example, don’t rely on the Facebook Handshake. You cannot use #Playbrandambassador or #TravelsWithPaula – not clear enough – #ad or #sponsored.
One More Thing:
Blanket disclosures are NOT okay. You can’t slap a standard image on your sidebar and assume that’s okay. It’s not clear enough.
Follow These Tips to Disclose Properly
You should always disclose in the manner required by Canadian Ad Standards. I have written two different posts on this now. Please consult them if you are confused and check the Ad Standards book too. It will help ensure that your disclosures are correct.