Australian Influencers Still Failing To Disclose #Ads Despite AANA’s Crackdown

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AI-powered analytics platform HypeAuditor has revealed some of Australia’s most active brands on social media are failing to abide by the AANA’s new rules around disclosure.

Introduced in February of this year, the AANA’s new code of ethics requires influencers clearly disclose a paid partnership with a brand using #ad, #sponsored or another clear marker.

“Where an influencer or affiliate accepts payment of money or free products or services from a brand in exchange for them to promote that brand’s products or services, the relationship must be clear, obvious and upfront to the audience and expressed in a way that is easily understood,” the AANA says.

It also clearly states that “merely mentioning the brand name may not be sufficient to clearly distinguish the post as advertising”.

However, the data from HypeAuditor suggests that many brands and influencers are using brand mentions rather than #ad to indicate a paid partnership.

HypeAuditor compiled posts from the top five Australian brands with the most mentions from influencers in the last 30 days.

These five brands generated a total of 546 mentions from 400 Aussie influencers, according to the data. Despite 163 of these posts appearing to be sponsored, just 13 (7.9 per cent) had #ad or #sponsored.

“Our analysis indicates that disclosure of ads for Australian influencers is so far the exception rather than the rule,” said HypeAuditor CEO and co-founder Alex Frolov.

Frolov pointed to the recent instances of former Bachelor winner Anna Heinrich and influencer Rozalia being found to have breached the AANA’s code of ethics.

In both of these cases, the influencer was reprimanded for failing to disclose the partnership.

However, Frolov suggested the responsibility should lie with the brand when it comes to abiding by the rules.

“It seems that influencers are the ones in the firing line when it comes to breaching of the code, however, the onus should not just be on influencers to do the right thing. More needs to be done by brands to make sure they are aligning with codes and regulation around advertising for the protection of the consumers,” Frolov said.

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