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  • MaryGrace Lerin

The ASA has named and shamed a number of well-known influencers for breaking advertising regulations

The Advertising Standards Authority is identifying and shaming well-known influencers whose material violates promotional post guidelines.

The new non-disclosure website, which went live yesterday, lists a number of influencers with large followings on social media sites like Instagram who have not previously declared that some of their posts were sponsored by businesses. It's the latest stage in a process aimed at ensuring that promotional material regulations are applied consistently across all media.

The ASA released its Influencer Monitoring Report in March, which examined 122 UK influencer Instagram accounts to determine compliance rates and ensure that paid content is appropriately identified and labeled.

The ASA’s new non-disclosure webpage highlights influencers that fail to disclose sponsored content

Malign influence · Chloe Ferry, Chloe Khan, Jodie Marsh, and Lucy Mecklenburgh are among the repeat offenders who have failed to reveal advertisements throughout their social media accounts, according to the site. · As explained by ASA, they were "all contacted by our compliance team and requested to offer assurance that they will include clear and upfront ad labels in their advertising posts". They either did not offer that promise in the first place or did not follow through on it later.” · As a result, the four will be named on the site for three months and will be scrutinized more closely for any violations of the ASA's regulations. · Any additional influencers found to be in violation of the ASA's standards will be added to the site's "wall of shame," according to the ASA. · However, the organization notes that its first attempts to reduce infringements were successful with the great majority of influencers: "Having talked with the influencers monitored, three months later we're seeing considerably improved rates of compliance." Monitoring influencers · According to the ASA's Influencer Marketing Report, there was a "disappointing overall rate of compliance" with paid-for ad regulations. This was especially concerning because the number of complaints the organization receives about social media content is increasing. · The ASA noted that while one element of a Story may have been marked, the rest were incorrectly left unlabeled, which was worsened by the changing nature of social material. · As per the study, these advertisements mostly fell into three categories: beauty, clothing, and leisure: “However, no industry stood out as having an acceptable percentage of compliance when it came to labeling advertisements in terms of obeying the rules.” · “We prefer to engage with influencers and companies to assist them keep to the rules, but the first influencers to be listed on this list have been given every chance to treat people properly regarding their ads,” ASA chief executive Guy Parker said of the new site. It's not complicated: state clearly when posts and Stories are advertisements. If this does not result in the desired improvements, we will not hesitate to consider additional sanctions.” Despite slowed growth in 2020 owing to the pandemic's impact on ad expenditure, the influencer industry is expected to rise in the next years.

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