The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) just approved a new code for social media influencers. These new standards encompass users and influencers on all social media platforms.
Starting March 1, all Australian social media users must disclose whether they are posting branded content or not. Negligence of this code, however, will not incur major penalties, as the association is self-regulating. This code applies mostly to brands. Should a brand defy the code, the Advertising Standards Board can ask for the ad to be taken down.
Violating the code gives the possibility of breaching the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and being persecuted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). So far, there are no known cases of this type in Australia, but since the approval of this code, it can pose a danger to both influencers and brands, as breaching the ACL carries a maximum fine of $1.1 million for brands and $220,000 per post for influencers.
The AANA also published a ‘Distinguishable Advertising Best Practice Guideline’ to give light to the new code. In the article, the organization cites examples and different scenarios wherein branded content can be made distinct.