New study shows perception gap in influencer compliance rates where 60.5% don’t trust mega influencers to declare all ads despite just one complaint received for every 184.5k sponsored content pieces posted.


60.5% of UK don’t trust that mega influencers declare all ads. 51.5% of UK don’t trust that micro-influencers declare all ads. This is according to results from a new Google survey released today by social commerce firm, Emplifi

Damning statistics capturing the breadth of a perception gap that doesn’t match the compliance rate reality. 

Last week The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) published their Annual Report 2021. Complaints about influencer posts were shown to have increased by 20% to 4,889. 

Whilst 4,889 complaints about influencer marketing content is too many, the number of complaints should be considered against content quantity. Conservative calculations show a minimum of 900 million pieces of sponsored content published each year by UK influencers on Instagram alone. That’s one complaint for every 184.5k sponsored content pieces posted. 

Why the perception gap? One possibility is that the ASA’s newly-rolled-out influencer sanctions against repeat offenders are over-indexing in terms of publicity and impact. 

Each Wednesday the ASA publishes a list of rulings it has made during the week. These may include influencer cases. Often the mainstream media picks up on these rulings especially where reality TV stars are involved. 

The ASA has created an influencer ‘wall of shame’ or register held on its website of influencers who routinely fail to disclose advertising. This again is often picked up by mainstream media.

Most recently the ASA has started to take out advertising against persistent non-compliant influencers to make it clear that those influencers are not following the rules as the ASA described. 

These new sanctions and the resulting negative publicity in mainstream media are helping the ASA attain their goals. According to their annual report 13 out of 17 persistently offending influencers came into compliance following the sanctions, including the first series of OPTA ads which ran in January 2022. Those who fail to comply will be subject to escalating sanctions.

Incidentally, TV was the second most complained about advertising media according to the ASA annual report. It made up close to half of all complaints (20,425). This despite TV ads being pre-cleared and television advertising being a well-established media channel -- ITV launched in the UK 67 years ago in 1955. 

2,503 UK consumers responded to a Google Survey in April 2022 commissioned by Emplifi. 

Scott Guthrie is a professional adviser within the influencer marketing industry. He is an event speaker, university guest lecturer, media commentator on influencer marketing and active blogger. He works with brands, agencies and platforms to achieve meaningful results from influencer marketing. That tells you something about him but it's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So, read more here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}