Inkifi, a photo printing company, have analyzed 800 Instagram influencer accounts from The UK, USA, and Canada, to find out if they are abiding by advertising guidelines, both in the UK and the US. All the accounts analyzed had both UK and US audiences and are therefore accountable to the US regulations – FTC guidelines.
71.5% of influencers had attempted to disclose, however, only 25% of influencers disclosed properly and in line with FTC’s guidelines – “If an Instagram post makes an endorsement through the picture or the first three lines of the description, any required disclosure should be presented without having to click “more”.” By not following the FTC guidelines, influencers are breaking the law and it could result in their assets being frozen, account shutdowns and potential legal action.
It’s not just the influencers that could face trouble by not disclosing, it is equally the brand’s responsibility to make sure the influencers they work with disclose fully and properly. Failure to do so could result in the brand being fined and paying out for consumer compensation.
Health and Fitness influencers were the worst at disclosing, with only 60% attempting to disclose and just 16% abiding by FTC guidelines. Whilst Fashion and Beauty influencers were the best at disclosing with 77% attempting and 33% abiding by FTC guidelines.
The findings were as follows:
Fashion & Beauty Influencers
Attempted to disclose 77%
Disclosed to FTC guidelines 33%
Home & Lifestyle Influencers
Attempted to disclose 71%
Disclosed to FTC guidelines 27%
Attempted to disclose 76%
Disclosed to FTC guidelines 22%
Travel & Outdoors Influencers
Attempted to disclose 64%
Disclosed to FTC guidelines 20%
Health & Fitness Influencers
Attempted to disclose 60%
Disclosed to FTC guidelines 16%
Paul Mosley, the Managing Director at Inkifi, commented on the findings:
“We hope this research raises awareness of aspects of influencer marketing that may be overlooked by bloggers and brands alike. The fact that UK bloggers have to abide by US regulations is likely something that many UK bloggers aren’t aware of, and with this research, we hope to educate, to save people losing accounts and assets that they’ve worked so hard to obtain.”
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