It has been nearly 3 years since the Social Media Advertising Code was introduced. The code contains advertising rules for vloggers, influencers and human to human advertisements.
Payment for content?
According to the Dutch Advertising Code Foundation, it is sometimes unclear for consumers that companies pay for messages, blogs and vlogs on social media, or that they are involved in some other way. The Social Media Advertising Code does in principle not prohibit such a relationship between the business community and content creators but does oblige honest communication about this. We previously informed you that the Social Media Advertising Code will quickly apply.
Since the Social Media Advertising Code came into force, the Dutch Advertising Code Committee (RCC) has received few complaints, according to its website. It explains this by stating that not everyone is aware that there are rules for vloggers and that you can complain to the RCC. At the same time, the RCC observes that in practice it is not always clear how transparent you have to be and what exactly you have to disclose. The RCC aims to raise the awareness of the rules and the opportunity to complain. It states on its website that ‘the clearer the points of reference offered to the advertisers and vloggers, the more you are able to maintain your authenticity as creator/influencer.’ The objective of the Committee includes increasing trust in advertisements via social media.
What happens during a complaints procedure? The RCC states:
Once a complaint has been accepted and is being dealt with and there appears to be a breach, the Committee shall in the first instance address the advertiser who is working with the vlogger. But the code also offers the option of addressing the vlogger. The vlogger can then (possibly together with the advertiser), receive a recommendation to make it more clear in the future that there is a relevant relationship with an advertiser.
The Advertising Code Foundation therefore seeks to achieve the clarity as prescribed in the Code. This can be achieved by stating that the content creators received a product for free, that they are being paid by the advertiser or have received a discount, for instance. The adherence to these rules is also important for the business community.