This Blog Post Has Sponsored Content

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!






2 thoughts on “This Blog Post Has Sponsored Content

  1. This all depends on what constitutes “sponsored”, of course. If Ilford send you one roll of film, is that sponsored, or are you, by spending your valuable time on a review, in fact sponsoring THEM? I often take the latter view. I can see this is going to be contentious.


  2. Hi Michael, if Ilford Photo did send me, say a roll of HP5 to shoot and review, I think in the eyes of the Canadian Advertising Standards Council that would be construed as a sponsorship. Now if I were to grab a couple of rolls of HP5 say from Burlington Camera, it would not. I think the council might play hardball just as the government is playing hardball with the new anti-spam laws. Laws like this have been on the books with our neighbours to the south of us for a few years now. Yes, some influencers haven’t bothered to comply but that will come back to haunt them down the road in terms of diminished credibility. The same thing happens if say Fujifilm loans you a XT-2 and lens kit for the fall, you know full well the quid pro quo is if you have a blog is you’re going to write about the camera and share the images you made from it and it becomes sponsored content, especially if you have a following in the tens of thousands and the product people say take your time with the camera. Err on the side of caution with these sort of things because the fines are going to be in the same neighbourhood of a house downpayment in Toronto.


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