You need 30,000 followers to be considered an online influencer


You need 30,000 followers to be considered an online influencer

In Summary

  • This came after a British lifestyle blogger @ThisMamaLife was censured for promoting an antihistamine and sleep aid called Phenergan Night Time tablets.
  • ASA said the Instagram advert constituted celebrity endorsement of a medication, which is not allowed under UK law.
  • Earlier this year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the ASA created an “Influencer’s Guide”, offering advice for influencers concerning paid for posts.

Everyone wants to be an internet celebrity, an influencer and this brings another kind of pressure, how many followers do you need to achieve those levels?

On Wednesday, the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) issued a ruling that anyone with more than 30,000 social media followers is now considered a celebrity – and subject to advertising rules.

This came after a British lifestyle blogger @ThisMamaLife was censured for promoting an antihistamine and sleep aid called Phenergan Night Time tablets.

ASA said the Instagram advert constituted celebrity endorsement of a medication, which is not allowed under UK law.

The drugmaker Sanofi said that the blogger had 32,000 followers at the time of publishing the content arguing that the numbers were significantly fewer than that of many celebrities like David Beckham hence the ad was not subject to the advertising rules.

In its ruling, ASA concluded: “We considered over 30,000 followers indicated that she had the attention of a significant number of people. Given that she was popular with, and had the attention of a large audience, we considered that ThisMamaLife was a celebrity for the purposes of the CAP Code.”

According to standard.co.uk, earlier this year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the ASA created an “Influencer’s Guide”, offering advice for influencers concerning paid for posts.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “Influencers can have a huge impact on what their fans decide to buy. People could, quite rightly, feel misled if what they thought was a recommendation from someone they admired turns out to be a marketing ploy.

The guidelines were created following a CMA investigation into consumer protection laws and the online world, over concerns fans often mistake certain posts as a star’s personal view.

“As a result, 16 celebrities and influencers, including Zoe “Zoella” Sugg, one of the UK’s most popular YouTubers, and Alexa Chung, pledged to make it clearer in their posts whether they have received payment to promote products online,” reported the Standard.

The issue of infuencers and what counts as an ad has been a major struggle with the rise of Instagram, YouTube and Twitter celebrities.

In the United Arab Emirates, influencers must apply for a trade licence and an e-media licence at a cost to post content promoting brands on social media, under rules introduced in March last year.

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