Ireland’s Advertising Standards Authority Calls On Influencers And Bloggers To Declare Marketing Communications.

The ASAI, better known as the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland recently released new guidance information on ‘Recognisability of Marketing Communications’. The goal is to help ensure Irish consumers do not get toyed with by social media websites or ads on blogs, through influencer marketing.

Rather than luring consumers into a false sense of security through celebrity endorsements or popular bloggers with a hidden agenda, these marketers must now fully disclose the fact that the communication is an advertisement. While the bulk of responsibility for the communication sits squarely with the advertising company, everyone involved has a measure of responsibility.

The goal is to slap a series of disclaimers and easily identifiable hashtags such as #SP or #Ad before the promotional pitch is even viewed by the consumer.

#SP = sponsored product

#Ad = Advert

Originally, advertisers could simply toss a small disclaimer before the-fold on websites or at the end of the marketing material. Some company’s get so sneaky with where this information is placed, that they tuck it away in the terms and conditions section of their material. They do this because they know, people don’t really read the terms and conditions entirely, and hope to slip one by consumers.

The new guidance on the ‘Recognisability of Marketing Communications’ issued by the ASAI outlines the general requirements of advertisers across social media, including:

  • Independent Reviews, including Blogger and Vloggers
  • Recognisability
  • Key watch outs
  • Free Products

The idea is to prevent paid advertisements from mixing in with the editorial content.

This is especially important for advertisements that are so well written and presented that it is hard to tell if it is simply a review or an actually advertising pitch controlled by company and fed to the masses through bloggers with large social media followings.

Online influencers, vloggers and bloggers are required to follow the ASAI’s Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications in Ireland. This covers all forms of marketing communication. Whether the information comes to you through email, social media or trained birds delivering messages like in the Game of Thrones, these guidelines must be followed.

 

Orla Twomey, CEO of the ASAI, says:

“The area of influencer marketing has seen a number of in-depth conversations both online and in the media recently as consumers voice their concerns about bloggers who may or may not be declaring marketing communications. Bloggers have also engaged in online forums where they have discussed best practice in so far as what exactly needs to be disclosed and when. The new ASAI guidelines aim to address these concerns and develop a uniform set of standards applicable to both companies and the bloggers who deliver the marketing communications.

As the independent self-regulatory body committed, in the public interest, to promoting the highest standards of marketing communications in Ireland, the ASAI aims to lead the way in ensuring all marketing communications are legal, decent, honest and truthful, inclusive of online influencer marketing.

As part of the ASAI’s ongoing Monitoring Service, the organisation has also begun monitoring blogs and online channels including social media. Furthermore the ASAI has also actively engaged with a number of bloggers to communicate the fact that the ASAI Code is applicable to all marketing and that all marketing communications must be declared. Feedback to date has been extremely positive as the ASAI aims to work with advertisers in the best interest of consumers, rather than against them.”

The days of company’s being able to hide, lie to, cheat and deceive consumers are greatly numbered. The ASAI, while financed by the advertising industry itself (go figure), aims to keep all marketing attempts honest, legal, truthful, and decent.

For a Pdf on ASAI GUIDANCE NOTE Recognisability of marketing communications Click here

 

What does it mean for Google Adverts

Well this is already covered by Googles “Google Advertement” symbol, so you don’t have to add to that side.

 

In other words, the ASAI wants to make sure you buy for the right reasons, not because someone pulled the wool over your eyes.

For more information please visit the ASAI’s Full article here

Look Alive! Facebook Has Made Changes That You Should Be taking Full Advantage Of!

SURPRISE! Facebook has done it again!

In a bid to keep the platform relevant and most useful for your business and for its users, Facebook have recently made changes to reflect how its users are reacting to and engaging with posts

There are a few obvious changes in the last week or two that you may have noticed and some that you might not yet be aware of.  Never fear – that’s why we’re here – to keep you up to date with all the latest goings on in Social Media land.

Before on the left, After on the Right

Firstly Changes to the page layout

You may have also noticed that there have been a number of changes to the profile page layout of your business pages.

    • The profile picture has been moved to the left of the screen, making your cover shot bigger and more visible. Be sure to have a look at your cover shot and check that the design and layout still look right after this move. You now have more precious space to play with! Call your superlative Graphic Designer (Ahem, that would be us!) to design a cover shot for your business today!

 

    • Your Call to Action button such as the ‘Message’ or Call Us’ or ‘Watch Video’ or ‘Shop Now’ buttons are now much bigger and are located to the bottom right of the cover shot. Make sure you are happy with that Call to Action button and that it is the most useful Call To Action for your business.

 

    • Your page navigation is now located to the left of the cover shot, below the profile picture, meaning your like button is now more visible and less crowded than before! Score!

 

    • Reviews, Maps, Videos and Images are now all much more visible in a completely new column to the right hand side of your timeline. Again, have a good look at this precious real estate and be sure you are making the most of it!

(PS, if you like this article…and we know you do!..please hit the share button below. Go on, share the love!)

 

Secondly the changes to the algorithm and what they mean for your business:

Facebook have conducted their research and found that;

Facebook users are more inclined to share text only based posts written by their friends, but not so inclined to share text only posts/updates written by business pages. If we think about that, it makes sense. Consumers are savvy and know when they are being marketed to. They will, however, react to a great image, a useful video or a handy infographic, when posted by a business.

    • So what does that mean for your business?
      Well, Facebook have decided to pull back from text only posts on business pages, meaning you will get less reach and therefore less traffic from text only posts.

 

    • The Solution?
      Simple, get funky with images, videos and really useful graphics and avoid text only, self-promoting posts. Try to offer something useful and engaging to your audience when posting.Facebook, however, did go on to pinpoint that switching to a more media/link-orientedstatus update will definitely make up for the loss.

 

    • You say what now?
      Well, simply put, if you are posting a status update and you wish to add a link to your post, you should now use the sharing tool directly from the website or article that you wish to share and this will get more traction in your posts than simply embedding a link/pasting a link into your post!

 

    • What does this mean for your business?
      It means get busy asking people to share your blog articles, your content and your videos directly from your website and you’ll see the benefits!

 

Well, that’s all folks – your handy social media update…just cause we love ya!

 

Don’t forget to share the love and post this article to your Facebook page using the Facebook share button directly below this article