In an effort to stop consumers from being misled there is a new set of Guidelines for Bloggers and influencers. Online posts must now say if they are being paid to promote a service or product. These guidelines have been set out by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).
The ASAI has introduced the guidelines due to the increase in online advertisements on blogs and social media websites. These may come as mentions on Snapchat or Instagram or indeed in Blog Posts. People like the Kardashians make significant money from advertising products in this way. In Ireland in recent years there has been an increase in social media influencers being paid for this sort of marketing.
Influencers and Bloggers must add disclaimers to their posts. These disclaimers should be obvious and visible for consumers to see on the content. The ASAI have said that they will ensure bloggers and influencers adhere to the new guidelines. Declaring a sponsored piece of content will be easy. A simple hashtag can be used to denote a that they are being paid to advertise a product. The suggested tags are #AD and #SP.
I personally have never been paid to advertise a product or service. I have on occasion been asked to review a book or two but that is rare. I think this new set of online guidelines will be good, as it will be easy for the followers or readers of a blog post to know if this is a sponsored post or indeed if the person is really saying something because they want to and because they think a product is actually very good.
I do worry that there maybe some difficulty in tracking and checking if someone was actually paid for a post. I cannot see how someone will be able to prove this. Also on the flip side, how can someone prove if they product they mentioned was one they actually like.
Time will tell !