If you ask most companies, influencer marketing is still a complicated domain. Despite the fact that influencer marketing has become a part of everyday life on social media, most companies still find it difficult to define the line between personal recommendations and ‘real’ advertising. Read along to get a grip on the rules of marketing, and how you mark your posts as advertising on social media legally correct.
Hidden advertising has always been forbidden, but on the 25th of April 2017, a new marketing law was passed. It tightened the requirements of how to highlight your social media posts as advertising correctly.
A good friend recommends you a product. Your friend has bought the product him/herself and is genuinely very excited about its features. Is that advertising? Where is the line drawn between a simple friendly recommendation and a commercial advertisement?
The general of fairtrade categorizes the following as advertising:
It is important to know how to highlight something as an advertisement, especially when working in the domain of influencer marketing. If you’re not observant at this point, you risk that both you, the influencer, and your collaborative agency fall foul of the Marketing Practice Law. This is due to the fact that covert advertising is illegal, which is also pointed out in the Marketing Law, paragraph 6, subsection 4:
“A tradesman must state the commercial intent of any type of commercial practice clearly, including advertising. Paragraph 8 applies accordingly.”
It is important to be aware of one’s marketing obligations in relation to advertising, no matter if it concerns text, pictures, videos, different platforms, links, or presents.
Text, pictures, and videos: The fact that a post includes commercial content – is an advertisement – must appear in the headline or in the text of the post (video or picture). The general of fairtrade recommends that you use the term “sponsored” or “advertisement”. It is not enough to write “spons” or #ad.
Affiliate links/advertising links: it must be highlighted clearly that affiliate links/advertising links count as advertising. The general of fairtrade recommends using the term “advertising link” or “sponsor link”. This must be done above the advertising link, or in continuation of the advertising link.
Gifts: It also must be highlighted as advertising if an influencer chooses to reveal/present your gift on his/hers social platform. This must be done by writing one or the other in continuation of the post: “I have perceived this product as a gift”, “I’ve received this product for free” or “received as a gift”.
This picture represents an example of paid influencer marketing partnership between Driscoll’s Danmark and Frederikke Wærens.
Common sense and clear communication: It all comes down to this: common sense and clear communication. As pointed out earlier, it can be difficult to distinguish between an influencer and a regular person, who simply possesses a high number of followers on social media. Therefore, it is always a good idea when sending a gift to an influencer, to append a card saying that “this gift must be highlighted as an advertisement if posted on socials”.
Make a contract: It is always a good idea to make a contract between your company and the influencer if you wish to start a collaboration. Hereby, you minimize the risk of your product not being announced as advertising, and thus the risk of getting in conflict with the Marketing Law.
Sharpened rules when it comes to kids and teenagers: It is important to know that the rules of marketing are straitened when it comes to kids and teenagers, e.g. when promoting alcohol. If an influencer’s target audience is under the age of 25, you’re not allowed to use the one influencer for advertising alcohol.
If you are interested in more information about legal marketing, we have collected some suggestions for further reading:
The general of fairtrade has created a guide to influencers about how to avoid hidden advertising. The guide is easily read and provides a clear understanding of how to highlight posts as advertisements correctly.
Check out the Marketing Law paragraph 2, if you want to avoid any misunderstandings (regarding advertising).
Read more about our work with influencer marketing here.
We hope that our input has given you the courage to work with (more) influencer marketing. If you’re left with any questions, or need help finding – or contacting – the perfect influencer, please contact Maria Gamarra at +45 30 26 03 08 or send an e-mail: email@example.com.
We have created a booklet that contains tips and tricks, as well as four decisions you must make before choosing an influencer to promote your brand. It is perfect for strengthening your influencer strategy and becoming wiser about influencer marketing. Besides that, downloading the guide will give you access to our newsletter and secure you a head start on the market of communication.
We hope that you and your company will find our guide useful.