May 9, 2022

IMTB responds to 'Influencer culture: Lights, camera, inaction?' the report published by parliament which addresses Influencer Culture.


Today, the select committee of the department of digital, culture, media, and sport (DCMS) published its long-awaited report following a 15-month consultation into influencer culture in the UK. The Influencer Marketing Trade Body is heartened to have been cited three times within the document. 

The report is titled: 'Influencer culture: Lights, camera, inaction?' It makes five recommendations:

  1. The Government should hold a market review into the influencer ecosystem to address the institutional knowledge gap 
  2. Develop a code of conduct for the influencer marketing industry
  3. The ASA should be handed enhanced, statutory powers with which to enforce its influencer codes
  4. The ASA should update its codes to enhance the disclosure requirements for ads targeted to children
  5. Develop new legislation to address the gaps in UK labour legislation around ‘kidfluencers’ 

As influencer marketing professionalises, so parliament must ensure our discipline adheres to the same rules as all other marketing channels. That is only fair and right. As with other marketing channels, influencer marketing needs to do more to protect the young and the vulnerable and to ensure society is accurately reflected through diversity of talent, equity, inclusion, and pay-parity. As an industry we are already making big steps towards affecting these changes, however. 

The report downplays the opportunities within influencer marketing. Ours is an industry doubled in size since 2019. Today, it is thirtyfold the size it was just seven years ago. The UK is the third-largest market globally, providing significant benefits to the UK economy.

The report’s leitmotif is that our industry suffers from a paucity of robust data. Absent reliable research, the DCMS had little option than to rely on tiny sample sets and anecdotal hearsay presented within oral evidence. This should be a call to arms for our industry to invest in meaningful research with which to defend and advance our position. 

The IMTB was expressly referenced three times within 'Influencer culture: Lights, camera, inaction?'

  • Paragraph 34: the importance of co-creation between advertiser and influencer rather than advertisers being overly prescriptive in shaping the messages that are circulated on their behalf.
  • Paragraph 38: suggesting that virtual influencers should be watermarked
  • Paragraph 54: raising potential concern over platform-run creator marketplaces and their ability to disintermediate agencies

The IMTB looks forward to working alongside the DCMS to realise positive outcomes from the report's five recommendations. We await the government's formal response to the report which is slated for publication by 11th July. 

About the Influencer Marketing Trade Body

The Influencer Marketing Trade Body is the professional membership organisation for influencer marketing agencies and influencer marketing platforms. The IMTB is dedicated to building a robust, sustainable future for the influencer marketing industry through increased accountability, governance and a unified voice.

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