According to Markets & Markets, the global influencer market is currently estimated at £4.5 billion in 2019. According to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) Annual Report 2018, there were more than 16,000 complaints about 14,000 online ads and social media posts last year.
The #FuturePRoof guide to influencer marketing, published this week, addresses the need for influencer marketing governance in public relations (PR). It’s a challenging area of practice that sits between marketing and PR, and earned and paid media.
“The #FuturePRoof guide highlights best practice for brands, agencies, and influencers. Everyone involved in a campaign has a responsibility to adhere to relevant advertising and media law,” said founder and editor of #FuturePRoof, Sarah Waddington.
Make sure PR doesn’t miss out
In the UK, influencer campaigns are governed by existing Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) laws. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) members are also covered by their own codes of conduct.
“Influencer marketing is a burgeoning area of our practice but the number of cases brought by the ASA and CMA proves that too many influencers and practitioners are falling foul of the standards we expect,” said Francis Ingham, director general of PRCA.
“The public relations industry has been slow to offer leadership on influencer marketing to practitioners and influencers. We’ve been here before with search engine optimisation, social media, and content marketing. It’s important that PR doesn’t miss out again,” commented Scott Guthrie.
The guide includes media law and guidance from advertising, marketing, and PR, and covers guidance for campaigns where no money is exchanged and for those that are paid for. The tension between earned and paid campaigns isn’t only a challenge for marketing and PR practitioners, it has also lead to influencers breaching advertising and trading standards law.
What’s clear from the guide is that PR is in the best position to take ownership of influencer marketing, giving it both structure and clear standards for the benefit of the public, influencers, and businesses.
The guide was written by independent influencer marketing consultant Scott Guthrie, and Stephen Waddington, managing director of Metia, and includes contributions from Rupa Shah, founder, and director of Hashtag Ad Consulting, and Andrew Terry, partner and head of intellectual property and media, Eversheds Sutherland.
You can find out more and download the report here.