I came across this in my Facebook feed last week via Canadian Business, the Advertising Standards Council of Canada is cracking down on sponsored bloggers and influencers. With the new rules sponsored content has to be disclosed in the form of paid endorsements and mentions of products and services. All social media platforms including blogs, Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest fall under this and comes into effect in 2017. I’m good with this and about time, as someone who does blogger relations and write content I want transparency with my work.
So how will this work? Using my photoblog Bill Smith’s Photography as an example, if I was soliciting business say from the Canadian distributor of Ilford Photo products or directly from Ilford Photo themselves in the UK gave me a pile of different black and white film to shoot, develop and write about, I have to in all related blog posts note that the content is sponsored. Now if it is a blog that’s part of a company website with their products and services being talked about, err on the side of caution, yes this is a promotion of our products when are working it into a post how you solve a customer problem. If recent anti spam legislation is a guide the fines aren’t going to be cheap.
The US with the Federal Trade Commission has been doing this for a while now and we have been dragging our feet on this. Now to give you an idea how serious the Advertising Standards Council going to treat this, they cracked down on product reviews.
“One case of such action came last year, when Bell Canada was fined $1.2 million for having employees post fake reviews of its apps.”
If you’re a pro blogger, cover your ass, having a short line on promotional or sponsored content will save your bank account a big hit. If you are in blogger relations make sure the people you’re pitching are doing this, one, you want them to stay around and two, it adds transparency and legitimacy to the relationship.
Have a good week and enjoy what’s left of Summer!