Micro-influencers: Are you remembering the ban on hidden advertising?
Micro-influencers are growing rapidly in popularity. This is quite simply because not all brands can afford to form a partnership with the big and well-established influencers. This is also because many people see micro-influencers as more credible, because they are often perceived as “normal people” who are easier to relate to.
What is a micro-influencer?
A micro-influencer is the same as an influencer. However, the difference between the two types of influencers is that micro-influencers do not have the same number of followers as an influencer. In contrast, a micro-influencer’s followers are often more interested in the actual posted content. If you want very effective marketing, you should strongly consider micro-influencer marketing.
The ban on hidden advertising
The new Marketing Act came into force on July 1st 2017, and although it does not contain many significant changes, the changes it does contain, and one in particular, are still very important to be aware of.
In particular, the ban on hidden advertising has gained new clout. The ban is clearly stated in section 6, paragraph 4 of the Marketing Act, which dictates that “a trader must clearly state the commercial intent of any commercial practice, including advertising.” There are no doubts here; hidden advertising is prohibited! If you have received a gift or otherwise been remunerated for making a post, then you must mark the post as advertising. Likewise, it is advertising if you market products from a company and receive unsolicited product samples, as the company acts with a commercial intent.
How do I meet the disclosure requirement?
When you make a post on your Instagram account or Facebook profile, do you choose to place the word “advertisement” in the corner of the post, in the same colour shade as the picture’s background? Then you do not meet the disclosure requirement. When you mark a post as an advertisement, a gift, or a collaboration, etc., it should be clear and distinct. In short, your target audience needs to notice the word and understand the message. It is also not enough to write #advertisement or #ad (hashtags).
Are your followers under 18?
If you, as a micro-influencer, have followers under the age of 18, you should be aware that the disclosure requirement is much stricter. You are then obligated to make it extra clear that this is marketing a product for children and young people. You can, e.g. use these phrases when your followers are under 18:
- “Advertising for [insert company name]”
- “This video/article/post is paid for by [company name]”
It will not be sufficient to mark a post where the target group is under 18 years of age with:
- “In collaboration with [company name]”
- “Gift from [insert company]”
How are you punished if you do hidden advertising?
Are you violating the ban on hidden advertising? Then you can be punished with a fine. In addition, you can be reported to the police by the Danish Consumer Ombudsman.
What does this mean for me as a micro-influencer?
Are you a micro-influencer? Then you are also subject to the ban on hidden advertising. Therefore, when you post on social media, you must clearly show that you are advertising a company, a brand, or a product – even if you are “just” a private person. The law applies to everyone with a commercial interest in posting content on social media and as such, you should pay special attention to complying with this law as a micro-influencer. The Consumer Ombudsman has hidden advertising on social media as a major focus areas.
Want to know more or need help?
At Advokatgruppen, we have extensive experience helping new and experienced traders navigate safely through their marketing. We are always up to date on the law and the latest guidelines from the Consumer Ombudsman so that we can help you the best. Do you want our help? So contact us today for a no-obligation and free discussion.