The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has welcomed an announcement by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on the need for clear labelling of paid endorsements by social media influencers.
The CMA launched an investigation following concerns that social media influencers are not declaring when they have been paid or rewarded to endorse goods or services. The body, which has the power to take enforcement action, has written to celebrities and social media influencers to gather information on their business agreements.
According to last year’s CIPR State of the Profession research, more than half (52%) of public relations professionals now spend most or some of their time working on influencer relations.
Influencers’ endorsements must always be clearly labelled. The public have a right to distinguish between authentic and paid-for endorsements. PR professionals need to be aware that working with influencers who fail to declare a paid-for endorsement is a breach of our Code of Conduct.
PR practitioners have a responsibility to their clients, the profession and the public to place ethics at the heart of all they do. I’d urge anyone unsure of the rules to contact the CIPR or the CMA for guidance.