Influencers need to be more transparent about posting content which has been paid for by brands, Instagram has warned. A recent investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (the official organisation responsible for policing the advertising industry) found that many influencers are not following the law, and posting sponsored content without labelling it as such.
You can read the official guidance for influencers here, but the short version is that you always need to be honest and transparent when posting sponsored content, or reviewing product and services that you have been given for free. Failing to do that puts you on the wrong side of the law.
Posting on Twitter, the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced that the company would be taking steps to help users know when influencers have posted sponsored content:
According to the BBC, an Instagram spokesperson warned that if influencers failed to properly label paid content, they would be reported to the brands they’re promoting, which could result in them losing sponsorship opportunities. A range of new features will be rolled out on the platform over the coming months, designed to encourage users to disclose sponsored posts, as well as a new algorithm which will automatically identify sponsored content and help the platform to weed out users who do not follow the rules.
The bottom line is, if you’re getting paid to post content (either in cash or with free products and services) you should really make sure you’re being very transparent about it, because you’re risking future opportunities if you don’t follow the rules.