Recently, Ad Standards Australia (Ad Standards) found two social media influencers breached the Australian Association of National Advertisers Code of Ethics (the Code) in relation to their obligations to disclose paid promotions on social media platforms. In these cases, Ad Standards found that when promoting goods on social media, tagging a brand name alone was not obvious to show followers that there was a commercial arrangement between the social media influencer and company.
Ad Standards is the central authority for receiving complaints about advertising across all forms of media (including online advertising). Ad Standards works in collaboration with AANA, the principal body for the regulation of advertising and marketing communication in Australia. All advertisers who choose to abide by the self-regulatory scheme for advertising and marketing must comply with the Code. The Code is aimed at ensuring advertising is legal, honest and reflects community standards.
What are some of the recent changes?
In February 2021, AANA updated the Code to impose stricter conditions for social media advertising. These changes include (amongst others), additional restrictions on the use of content containing violence where children form part of the audience, prohibiting use of overtly sexual images in outdoor advertising where the image is not relevant to the product or service being advertised and additional prohibitions on the proliferation of gender stereotypes in…