Influencers in some global markets must flag commercial partnerships through two tags: #ad or #sponsored. But the CMA has found many violators.
Instagram may face a lawsuit if it fails to act on these sponsored posts. So, it plans to tackle the issue this way:
- It will add a new prompt requiring influencers to confirm if someone paid them to promote a product or service before publishing their post.
- It will develop new algorithms to spot possible advertising content. Then it will alert the ad sponsor to inform them of the platform rules.
Instagram has been addressing issues on proper disclosure in influencer marketing for a while now.
The platform in 2017 added an option to tag business partners in posts for more clarity on paid partnerships.
Still, many users fail to adhere to the rules. Even when people add relevant tags, they still fail to meet the regulatory requirements.
The CMA called Instagram’s move a significant behavioral shift for social media.
“This will make it much harder for people to post an advert on Instagram without labelling it as such,” a spokesman told the BBC.
A study found that three out of four influencer promotions on Instagram hide the #ad or #sponsored tags outside the main caption. Users must expand the text to see the disclosure.
Regulators say that influencer marketing tags must be prominent so consumers will see them right away. And hiding these promotions in the lower portion of the post may still violate official rules.
Influencers are the new faces for many companies who want to reach younger consumers.
Social insights firm Captiv8 says that Instagram influencers with at least one million followers can earn $20,000 per post on behalf of advertisers.
Forbes has predicted huge growth in influencer marketing. It suggests that the market might be worth
$14bn by 2022.
Last year, 16 social media stars, including singers Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora vowed to change the way they post online.
The CMA warned them that their posts might break consumer law.
If you run Instagram influencer promotions, now is the time to tighten up and adhere to regulations. So, you must ensure that you are clear on your partnerships ahead of the new push.
Instagram has yet to clarify the details. But change is coming and inevitable.