Bloggers must now declare if they are being paid to promote products or services!

by

transparenct for bloggers

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) revealed in January that they are coming down hard on bloggers who do not disclose if they have been paid to promote a product.

The ASAI code requires “advertisers not to mislead consumers, not to offend them, make sure advertising is truthful and that consumers know when they’re receiving marketing material“.

Effectively if a blogger is taking a payment from any organisation for writing a piece that promotes them they become an advertiser.

This is quite a significant development and in a way it is highlighting the increasing powerful role that bloggers are starting to play in influencing consumers about products and services. In my view bloggers play a special role in the whole communications mix.

They are not a paid journalist and they are not a normal social media poster, they are something in the middle. They are someone who are normally really enthusiastic, passionate and knowledgeable about a topic and as a result when they give a positive review of a product or service this tends to be very significant and influential in particular if that blogger has a big following.

With the advertising code Bloggers are now required to publish the fact that their post has been sponsored or is an advert for a brand at the start of their blog post or video and include the hashtag #ad or #sponsored in any associated social media posts.

Honesty

As a blogger myself (www.thebeautydial.com) I think this is a positive move as readers deserve to know whether or not they are reading a ‘paid for post’ or not. I set up my blog as I love the beauty and fashion world and I love informing my readers of great products, bargains, top trends etc.

I would never recommend or promote anything I don’t truly believe in or that I wouldn’t use myself regardless of whether it was paid for or not and I think this is the position of most bloggers out there. When it comes to bloggers, we have your own reputation to uphold and in my opinion it’s a huge mistake to promote something just because you get paid for it.

These rules have been in the UK for a while now and have flushed out bloggers who are just doing it for the money. Like with all other media, readers/viewers should be made aware if they are reading/watching an advertisement or not. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with bloggers being paid to promote products, in fact I think it’s a good thing as many of us bloggers invest a lot of time and money into our work but I do think it should be something that is transparent when this happens.

An exception to the rule is when a blogger can receive a sample of a product for review and this is not seen as an advert in anyway as no money has exchanged hands. This is totally fair as making bloggers aware of new products through sampling is in no way a sponsored post or advert but it is simply asking a blogger to give an honest review of the product and the brand would have no say over what the blogger will say in the review.

These new rules have just come into effect in Ireland this month, March 2016 and in my opinion it is a move in the right direction for bloggers, their readers and ultimately the brands.

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel Cox is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Dublin and Dublin

 

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: