Clarification of social media guidelines #notanad | Hogan Lovells

Track record Not long ago, Ad Standards Australia (Advert Benchmarks) identified two social media influencers

Track record

Not long ago, Ad Standards Australia (Advert Benchmarks) identified two social media influencers breached the Australian Association of Countrywide Advertisers Code of Ethics (the Code) in relation to their obligations to disclose paid out promotions on social media platforms. In these scenarios, Advertisement Requirements found that when selling goods on social media, tagging a brand identify alone was not noticeable to present followers that there was a business arrangement between the social media influencer and enterprise.

Advert Requirements is the central authority for obtaining complaints about advertising and marketing across all types of media (such as on line advertising). Advert Standards functions in collaboration with AANA, the principal physique for the regulation of marketing and advertising communication in Australia. All advertisers who opt for to abide by the self-regulatory plan for marketing and advertising and marketing have to comply with the Code. The Code is aimed at making certain advertising is legal, trustworthy and displays local community expectations.

What are some of the the latest changes?

In February 2021, AANA updated the Code to impose stricter problems for social media promoting. These variations include things like (among other folks), additional limits on the use of information made up of violence in which kids variety component of the viewers, prohibiting use of overtly sexual images in outside promotion wherever the image is not appropriate to the item or assistance getting marketed and further prohibitions on the proliferation of gender stereotypes in marketing.

In distinct, portion 2.5 of the Code now specifies that promotion ought to only use language which is correct in the instances (such as appropriate for the applicable viewers and medium). Even more, part 2.7 of the Code requires that advertising and marketing will have to be plainly distinguishable as this kind of. This indicates that advertisers (this kind of as social media influencers) would not be in breach of the Code if it can be established that the viewers of a individual article was likely paid out for the advertising, even if this was not expressly mentioned.

Advertising and marketing Guidance

The observe notes to the Code explain that advertisers have adaptability in phrases of how to ensure their material is distinguishable as promotion or advertising and marketing communication. For illustration, advertisers might use logos or brand names combined with other visual or audio cues wherever appropriate, these kinds of as history shading, outlines, borders, graphics, online video or audio messages depending on the medium. When adverts are focused to a precise viewers, the relevant point of view is that of a regular member of the qualified team.[1]

What are the influence of the changes?

Importantly, the obligation to comply with the Code finally falls on the brand owner who has regulate in excess of the relevant material and whose solutions or solutions are currently being promoted.

Penalties for non-compliance (and the failure to modify or discontinue that non-compliance) with the Code are important. Circumstance studies might be built publicly out there by using the Marketing Standards Bureau website or referred to the pertinent enforcement governmental companies such as the Australian Opposition and Customer Commission (ACCC). To that conclude, the ACCC have indicated their willingness to put into action and impose penalties for breaches of the Code. Wherever this kind of breaches of the Code are deemed to be misleading or deceptive under the Australian Customer Regulation, penalties could be up to A$500,000 for folks and for businesses, the better of A$10 million, 3 moments the worth of the gain received, or where by the reward are not able to be calculated, 10 for each cent of once-a-year turnover in the preceding 12 months.

Following steps

This is a well timed reminder for organizations to assessment their inside promoting guidelines, especially with regard to social media promotion. To the extent corporations spouse with social media influencers or critical impression leaders to boost their products and solutions, this sort of marketing need to comply with the Code, Australian Customer Law and other related legislation or codes pertaining to their particular marketplace.

For instance, corporations running in the pharmaceutical or clinical gadget sector must also be mindful of their obligations when using endorsements in their advertisements. Endorsements of therapeutic merchandise must comply with the Therapeutic Products Promoting Code (No.2) 2018 (Cth) (TGAC) which needs advertisers to disclose the mother nature of endorsement and whether or not the person has gained (or will acquire) beneficial thing to consider for the endorsement. Specified the increased shift to world-wide-web and social media advertising, the Therapeutic Goods Administration is also wanting to update the TGAC and is at the moment looking for community session on amendments to the TGAC.


[1] See full duplicate of Code and Practice Observe listed here: