Written by Hoozu CEO, Natalie Giddings.
“No one likes a dibber dobber” right? But when the rule has been in place for long enough, and when it’s actually there to protect people… then why not? To tell-on somebody in that context, seems like fair play to me.
I have no doubt that there will be several creators, brands or agencies panicking after the ACCC’s (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) indirect warning against those breaking disclosure rules. On the 10th January, the ACCC posted on Facebook, welcoming people to dob in on any influencer who did not disclose that their post is an ad:
“Have you seen an influencer who isn’t disclosing that their posts are ads?
Influencers, across all social media platforms, can’t mislead consumers by failing to disclose if a post is an ad, a sponsorship or if they’re receiving incentives for promoting a brand.
Send us a DM if you think you’ve spotted an influencer doing the wrong thing.”
The Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AIMCo) keep their Code of Practices up to date and simple to follow – they cover any of the potential grey areas around disclosure, and are the presiding best practices in the Australian Influencer Marketing space. As such, anyone serious about this industry should, naturally, be hot on disclosure. However, even for those who may not have come across AIMCo, disclosure is not new news. It has been a topic of conversation for at least 6 years now – Instagram launched its in-app disclosure tool way back in 2017!
“For a business to engage in conduct that misleads or deceives or is likely to mislead or deceive consumers” is an illegal practice under Australian Consumer Law. To advertise to a consumer without being explicit about said advertisement, is to mislead and deceive. As such, an influencer who fails to disclose, fails to comply with the law.
Why shouldn’t they be dobbed in for that deception?
With that said, I am aware disclosure practices can slip through the net by accident sometimes. This tends to occur as a result of inadequate organisation.
So rather than learning the hard way, how do you stay on top of disclosure in your campaigns?
I want to share our tips to prevent going live without disclosure for you now. Follow these and avoid disclosure dobbing down the line:
1. Work with the Right Talent
It goes without saying, the best talent will understand and engage with ethical practices in their work. Disclosure will be as important to them as it is to you – it’s their reputation at stake as well. Ultimately, these are the kind of faces you want to align your brand with anyway.
2. Allow Adequate Time
Rushing is where the errors happen. Ensure your campaign has a clear schedule, allowing enough time to prepare at each stage, and share this with all parties involved. The brand needs to be accepting the talent as a brand partner on the back-end well ahead of the planned posting day.
3. Set Clear Mandatories
Laying out the mandatories of the campaign at each stage of the process, ensures these become ingrained for your talent. Disclosure must be one of these mandatories. Highlight the disclosure-requirement at briefing, contracting, draft-reviewing and when giving the green light to go live.
4. Educate the Talent
If you’ve selected the best creators, education may not be necessary – but there’s no harm in including a how-to at briefing stage anyway. When setting the disclosure mandatory, also provide brief instructions for setting up the in-platform disclosure tools (available on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube).
5. Designate Live-Checks
If nobody knows it’s their job to check that content has been disclosed as soon as it’s posted live, nobody will. Ensure this task is allocated to somebody in your team, and they have access to the posting schedule so they can check ASAP after content goes live.
Disclosure is not new news. But consumers are now being encouraged to use their power in highlighting those deceiving them. All the right intentions in the world are not enough if not put into practice. Do not be caught out, simply from a lack of organisation. Stay organised and ensure disclosure is front and centre with the tips outlined in this piece.
If you’re a brand looking for Influencer Marketing Strategy and correct execution, get in touch with us at Hoozu. We have our finger on the pulse with all things best practice, creative ideation and personal influencer engagement.