AANA Guidelines for Brands Working With Influencers

The influencer marketing industry is still working out many problems in the market between advertisers and influencers.

As this new business relationship still has plenty of issues surrounding it, we wanted to look at some of the key problems from the previous guidelines developed by The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA).

Here’s some points of discussion to be had about the AANA guidelines for brands working with influencers.

Who owns the content?

On social media at the moment, basically whoever creates the post is the only person who can control it. This means you can spend a lot of money on a post and someone else can delete it at their discretion. On the other hand, many accounts repost content that they source online of someone else using their product, otherwise known as UGC.

Ryan Spiteri is a fitness coach on Instagram with 1.8 million followers. He posts pictures that his followers send in that shows their body transformation under his guidance. Technically, hes using someone else’s content but both parties are okay with it.

ryan spiteri


How much should you be paying influencers?

This is the question that no one can really give a definitive answer for. Some smaller influencers are more than happy to take a free gift or service as payment for working with a brand. But once brands start working with bigger influencers, this area becomes a little grey.

Alexis Ren has more than 13 million Instagram followers. In the post below she has partnered with “Sonya Dakar” – a natural and cruelty free skincare brand. When you consider the reach Alexis Ren has with Sonya Dakar‘s target audience, she should certainly be getting paid handsomely by the company.

alexis ren


It’s still very difficult to decide how much an influencer is worth. Keeping any audience engaged is hard enough without using paid advertisements. The posts you use with influencers should be creative but also trying to follow any trends. It also helps to use more than one influencer so your success isn’t determined on one option. Always look to develop relationships with smaller influencers to help you develop a more natural brand with loyal followers.


There’s still many issues with contracts being used by influencers and brands. Many influencers have seen their brand suddenly hijacked by large brands due to inexperience and lack of knowledge when signing a contract.  As is the case with many online businesses, there is very little legal options or other representation for brands or influencers.

If you’ve spent years building your brand with a consistent style, tone, voice and overall feel on social media, make sure your terms are clearly outlined in your contract so you don’t cause damage to your brand.

Social media and UGC

There is still plenty of grey areas surrounding UGC. At the moment, the brand owner is responsible for user-generated content (UGC) where it has reasonable control over that content – this happens when the brand owner becomes aware of the material where:

  • it has posted or published the material;
  • it becomes aware of the UGC through reasonable review;
  • a user notifies the advertiser/marketer of the UGC; or
  • a complaint is lodged with the Advertising Standards Bureau about the UGC

What does this all mean?

These changes shouldn’t affect the relationship between influencers and brands too much. If anything, these changes to the AANA guidelines are simply the natural direction that the influencer-brand relationship has been taking for some time now.  For example, influencers now need to let their followers know that they are working with a brand by using the hashtag #ad or #sponsored in their posts. This practice is already widely accepted by influencers and their followers.

The recommendations from the AANA apply to any collaboration a brand undertakes with influencers including contra deals, sponsored posts, free or trial products.

Sean graduated from Murdoch University in 2017 and went from intern to Account Manager with Coffey & Tea. He also contributes to Social Media Perth.