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The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) require that sponsored or commercial content in the UK must be “obviously identifiable as such” and must not “materially mislead or be likely to do so.” This applies to social media posts where the use of both “#spon” or “#ad” are recommended.
While the ASA endorsement guidelines are relatively vague, the USA's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has set out a clear set of endorsement guidelines in their 2017 update, making it more difficult for brands to navigate influencer marketing.
While ambiguity in the FTC's previous guidelines enabled brands and influencers to disguise their sponsored content, sponsored social media posts must now be completely transparent so that consumers are absolutely aware of when they are being marketed to. This comes after 93% of the top celebrity social media endorsements were found to violate FTC guidelines.
Here is everything you need to know when it comes to sponsored content on social media in 2017: