The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has updated its guidelines with a section dedicated to influencers, outlining transparency for social media advertising.

This is the first time guidelines for advertising through the medium of 'influencers' has been released.

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Under the new guidelines, influencers - "otherwise known as independent content creators" - and all parties to an advertisement are responsible for "ensuring that advertiser controlled content is clearly identified as such".


The Guidance Note states that it is the advertiser of the brand who has the primary responsibility for complying with ASA Codes of transparency.

The lines of disclosure of a paid advertorial message put out by influencers have long been a grey with the rise of social media and influencer marketing.

Georgia McGillivray, founder of influencer marketing platform The Social Club, said the ASA influencer guidelines was exciting for the industry and validated the explosive growth seen in recent months.

"Until now there haven't been any regulations in place, so it's really exciting for the industry as it validates the growth in the industry and allows us to set the standards for our clients," McGillivray said.

Since the introduction of similar standards overseas, studies have found that social media followers tend to engage more with sponsored content than non-sponsored content, across most follower ranges, The Social Club said.

New Zealand influencers can earn anything between $50 and $50,000 per advertorial post on social media, depending on how many followers they have, engagement levels and reach.

The average campaign spend by a retail brand through The Social Club is still modest by the standards of conventional advertising - about $8000 per campaign, though it often reaches $12,000 - but that amount is on the rise.

"As advertising dollars shift into social media platforms, so to does the need for responsible advertising," ASA chief executive Hilary Souter said.


"Rule 1 of the Code of Ethics states advertising should be clearly distinguishable. The Guidance Note is a reminder to all advertisers, agencies, media platforms including influencers to ensure consumers can identify advertising."