Monday 20 November 2023

Social media "influencers" must put an advert label on their video if they're paid to promote a product

In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has introduced rules which affects how TikTok influencers and other social media users promote products of all kinds including cat products which is my area of interest.

I have just visited a TikTok page where the influencer appears to me to be promoting all kinds of cat products including a cat massager which amusingly appears to be operated by a blue British Shorthair cat (Ciccio) without any intervention or help from their human caregiver!

You can see the video below.

To me, the video promotes this product. But I don't know if this woman or man (I think it's a woman) is being paid to promote it. But she does tell viewers that there is a link on her TikTok page where interested viewers can find out more about the product.

That seems to be a way of selling this product but I can't be sure. But under the ASA rules if an influencer is being paid to promote something they have to put on their video or over the video a label to tell viewers that they are being paid to promote the product.

I'll quote The Times newspaper which explains it nicely:
Since then the ASA has drawn up rules that state that influencers are required to put an advert label on content if they have received payment, and any other incentive or are personally or commercially connected to the brand."
And The Times newspaper reports that ASA did some research to find out whether people were complying with this rule and it showed that 65% of adverts on social media were still insufficiently labelled. 

The rule applies to all kinds of social media content but often times it is on TikTok which has become a very powerful promotional tool for advertisers.

In essence, these people are advertisers. TikTok has become an advertising medium effectively and a very powerful one because the video you see on this page has been seen 48 million times. My guess is that a lot of people have bought this product on the back of the video.


The TikTok account is cicciothebrit.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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