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Are last year’s partnerships compliant?

The final piece of the ASA’s updated guidance to influencers that’s been causing much debate is whether all existing content needs to be retitled prefixed with #AD and a text overlay added to the relevant parts of the sponsored video content. 

Once again, the guidance was good and offered greater clarity in a not-so-straightforward set of scenarios, but there are inevitable outliers that impact specific types of content more than others. 

In this post we break down the more common instances, and with a little help from our legal team, look at how we should handle these. 

The sponsored livestream has finished. It wasn’t correctly labelled. Do I need to do anything?

Without a time machine there’s not a lot we can do here. But derivative content does need looking at. 

For example, if your brand has sponsored or sent review product for use in a live-stream, a VOD of that stream is required to carry #AD up front in the title, at the beginning of the video, and identifying the part of the content that qualifies as advertising. 

In the case of past content, advertising disclosure is required for up to 12-months after the advertising partnership occurred. That means for Twitch, VODs that have already expired and self-deleted, you don’t have to worry about, but if the channel has added that entire stream or the sponsored/ad portion to a highlight, that will need to be correctly labelled and disclosed. 

Do clips made by viewers count?

Clips made by viewers and shared fall outside your control, so those aren’t a concern. But brands do need to be aware of short-form clips promoting the stream that stick around. These are still in scope of the guidance and may not be taken down by the channel owner after the event. 

Do my affiliate partner channels need to be updated?

Video content linked to an active affiliate program are in scope (see the previous post about the additional responsibilities for co-marketers) and very easy to find, so if they’re still driving customers to buy your product, then definitely consider updating labels as you would any active marketing campaign. 

Should we ask the channel to relabel any partnership from the last 12-months?

This may come down to the individual risk profile of your campaign or product category. For example if your brand, products or campaigns are likely to spark a complaint, you may want to consider updating the labelling as a precautionary step. 

We put this question to industry expert and Director of Hashtag Ad Consulting, Rupa Shah:

Although CAP guidance states that ads must be disclosed during and up to one year after the relationship is established, the ASA has a general principle that it will only investigate ads that are a maximum of 3 months old. However, that principle is applied flexibly when it comes to social media because old posts can be pinned to increase prominence or, if there is a huge volume of content, a post that is e.g. only 2 months old could be so far down the feed that has become inconspicuous. So if you’re unsure whether past posts are non-compliant, it is advisable to take a common-sense approach and request that they are checked for any obvious breaches, e.g. with disclosure, (and remedy them!).”

Do you need some help with your reporting & advertising compliance auditing?

Don’t forget, if your team doesn’t have the time needed to review 100s of hours of content partnerships, RippleXn can audit for you faster and more cost-effectively using our new AI tools. Reach out anytime for more details.

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