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Are the New ASA Guidelines Beneficial or Just a Pain?

In September 2018, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) introduced guidelines for influencers to follow in terms of their transparency when advertising. The Influencers Guide contains details of the guidelines and how social influencers should ensure that it is clear to consumers if the content is an advert. A lot of influencers have adopted the range of #ad, #gifted, #affiliate hashtags to define what type of advert they are sharing to ensure they are compliant with the guidelines. If the guidelines are not met, both the influencer and the organisation are at risk of facing action from the ASA.

These guidelines are a key step forward within the influencer/advertising industries. The ASA have made a way of controlling this type of advertising which has caused a lot of confusion from the consumers perspective. I come from a more consumer view, and for me, the detail of the type of advertising that I am seeing helps me to understand the messages I am reading. This type of disclosure allows the clarity of the type of opinion an influencer has on the content they are producing. Whether they have been gifted a product or service and are providing their genuine opinion or if they have been paid by an organisation to discuss their product or service, the opinion could become incredibly different and maybe a little biased. That’s why I believe the relationship between an influencer and their consumers will be greatly increased as a result of these guidelines.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these guidelines. Please do leave a comment. Em x

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    March 22, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Do you think these guidelines are taken to an extreme or misunderstood in some cases by influencers? For instance, if they have recieved a gift from a friend some still #gifted, this can make the lines a little blurred don’t you think?

    • Reply
      Emma Rogers
      March 22, 2019 at 9:32 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment! These guidelines can 100% be confusing and maybe a little extreme, however, I think for consumers the guidelines provide so much transparency which is very important. I think there’s the potential for the lines to blur but it requires a more in-depth read of the caption to understand the context of the #gifted.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    March 26, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Really interesting read! I agree, I think it will increase the relationship between an influencer and their consumer, however do you think now influencers have to put #ad ect on their posts, it may seem like the messages they are sharing aren’t as authentic as they are being paid to post it. E.g when an influencer ‘loves’ a new piece of clothing, is this only because they are being paid?

    • Reply
      Emma Rogers
      March 28, 2019 at 12:14 pm

      Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for your reply. I do agree, it is hard to tell whether an influencers opinion is genuine or not but I think that depends on the person and the consumers perception. Many people say that they will only enter into a relationship with a brand if they like their products or services. I think it’s all about your own judgement really.

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