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Irish bloggers will now have to declare when they're promoting a product in their posts

The ASAI aims to ensure that all marketing is easily identifiable from independent editorial content.

Image: Shutterstock/ImYanis

THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS Authority for Ireland has issued new guidance for bloggers and online influencers, calling on them to declare their marketing posts so that Irish consumers will not be misled.

The ASAI said that it had “begun monitoring blogs and online channels” and was already communicating with bloggers to remind that them that all marketing communications must be declared.

The aim of these guidelines, it says, are to “ensure that all marketing communications are easily identifiable as being separate to independent editorial content”.

In recent years, blogging has escalated from a pastime into big business, with popular bloggers known as “influencers” able to make thousands of euro every time they post, due to partnerships with brands and businesses.

One such example is Zoella, or Zoe Elizabeth Sugg, a prolific blogger and vlogger who reportedly earns up to €50,000 each month through sponsorship from brands.

Towards the end of last year, the Public Relations Institute of Ireland called for a set of rules to protect consumers from rogue influencers who fail to disclose advertisement payments.

Under the new guidelines proposed by the ASAI, “where celebrities or influencers are sponsored by brands or paid directly to promote a product, it must be clear these posts are marketing communications”.

In order to ensure that this is indeed the case, the ASAI encourages the use of clearly identifiable hashtags such as #Ad or #SP to signify an advertisement or a sponsored post.

ASAI chief executive Orla Twomey said: “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.

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.

They add that the onus is on the advertiser to ensure that these guidelines are adhered to in sponsored content.

Read: Top Irish PR body seeks to curb rogue ‘influencers’ being paid to sell products and not admitting it

Read: Meet the talent agents that help internet celebrities rake in €50,000 for a single product placement

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Sean Murray

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