Influencers and the AANA Update

Influencers are now being encouraged to indicate when their social media posts are sponsored by a brand.

An update to the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) best practice guide is altering the way advertisers and marketers engage with influencers.

For a while self-regulation in the industry has seen the inclusion of the #ad and #spon by influencers to their social media posts. Under the new guideline influencers are encouraged to make it known to their audience when they have received payment for a post by including the hashtag #ad.

The move brings Australia’s marketing and advertising guidelines inline with the global standards. The changes shouldn’t have any adverse effect on influencers or brands, similar guidelines in place in the UK and US have actually had a positive effect on the industry.

Influencer relationships

The reasoning behind the guideline is to provide authenticity in advertising. Being transparent about the relationship influencers have with brands should not have any detrimental effect. In fact, the transparency encouraged by the guideline should see influencers only endorsing the brands that they personally advocate.

The mandate for disclosure is only a guideline not an enforced rule at this stage, so it is likely there will be sceptics and people ignoring the guideline when it comes in to place on March 1st.

Marketers and advertisers that utilise influencer marketing have a duty to disclose this to their audience, as do the influencers. It is about creating honest relationships and not deceiving consumers.

Best practice

If you make use of influencers in your marketing strategy, if they aren’t already making use of the hashtag you should ask them to include your brand name and the hashtag #ad to the posts.

Visit the AANA site for more information on the code.