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IMTB statement on the publication of the ASA annual report 

 May 19, 2022

The Influencer Marketing Trade Body (IMTB) welcomes the new initiative from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to capture and analyse all Instagram Stories produced by ‘high-risk’ influencers who are unwilling or unable to clearly and consistently label when their content is an ad. 

Repeat offending influencers harm our industry - an industry that is maturing and professionalising at speed. Sanctions recently introduced by the ASA are already having a positive effect on reducing the number of repeat offender influencers. The report notes 13 out of 17 persistently offending influencers came into compliance following ASA sanctions. Those who fail to comply will be subject to escalating sanctions.

“Responsible ads are obviously good for the public, but they’re also good for legitimate businesses”, notes Guy Parker, ASA chief executive in his report. Clearly 4,889 complaints about influencer marketing content is too many. The figure does not characterise an industry. IMTB members commit to “adhere to legal and regulatory frameworks and codes” or risk termination of membership. This is one of six guiding principles enshrined within our code of conduct

To safeguard compliance our members benefit from access to a designated regulatory advice service. This ensures that all members’ influencer campaigns meet the highest regulatory standards. Additionally, our website carries an ASA overview and links to its relevant guidance adding a further regulatory resource.

Whilst 4,889 complaints about influencer marketing content is too many, the number of complaints should be considered in the context of up to 900 million pieces of sponsored content published each year by UK influencers on Instagram.

The Advertising Standards Authority and the Committees of Advertising Practice Annual Report 2021 is published today and available for free download from the ASA website.

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