With influencer and affiliate marketing on the rise across the internet, it is important that these parties fully understand the latest restrictions are when it comes to advertising. The ASA has some very clear guidance in place. It is something that is now heavily policed online – especially with the prevalence of influencers on social media. Let’s take a closer look at some of the current UK ad rules for affiliate, and how they might change in the future.
What are the Rules Now?
The primary rule that all affiliates must follow is the CAP Code. This must be followed by many advertising bodies beyond affiliate marketing and is the rulebook for all non-broadcasting ads. Crucially, this includes any content that is on an affiliate’s website if it leads to the supply or transfer of goods or services through a hyperlink or promotional code.
Such marketing needs to be easily identifiable as such. Banner ads, brands emails, and websites dedicated to the affiliate program might be more easily identifiable due to their nature. However social media, vlogs, blogs, and other mediums might be slightly more difficult to identify. As a result, it needs to be clear that whoever is posting has a commercial interest with the linked company and products. These are the current UK ad rules for affiliates, and they must be obeyed.
How They Might Change in the Future
There is an underlying feeling in the UK that the current rules are too complicated. It is thought that many consumers do not trust influencers in case their recommendations lead to undisclosed affiliate links. As a result, there are many calls to simplify the current system to make it easier for affiliates to understand.
There is a growing concern that many do not understand the current system. Further training will hopefully come in from brands and agencies to ensure that affiliates working with them fully understand the basics so they fall within ASA guidelines. As social media platforms roll out more tools for paid promotion, there is a need for guides and supports for affiliates to ensure that they are properly following current guidelines.
How to Compensate for Changes in Your Content
You must be prepared to make changes as they arise. These principles are universal. Even if a “new” format arises in the future (as we have seen through the meteoric popularity of apps like TikTok), the rules in the CAP code will still apply.
It is also important that content will still be compliant even if there are changes elsewhere. To avoid having to alter content constantly, affiliates must ensure that all links are fully disclosed and able to stand up to current regulations on their own. With affiliate sites, this can mean having a footer or header that fully discloses that the links on the page in question are an advert. All content from the brand needs to follow the same guidelines too, be it ad messaging or a page explaining your introductory offers on your site.
Though navigating this aspect of affiliate marketing can be difficult, it is something that must be overcome. Hopefully, we shall see some simplification of UK ad rules for affiliates in the future that will allow both them and customers alike know how to correctly use this type of content.