Every Wednesday, the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) publishes a list of queries that they have looked into and resolved. Anyone can raise a query about any form of advertising, but a case last week involving Alpro caught our eye, and we thought it was worth sharing.
One person complained to the ASA that the tweet was not obviously identifiable as a sponsored post, and the ASA upheld the complaint. The agency Alpro worked with said that at the time of the tweet, they believed this sort of post was outside of the scope of the CAP code as it would be defined as editorial content.
The ASA first looked at whether the tweet counted as a marketing communication or editorial content but considering the following two questions
- Did Alpro pay AJ Odudu or had they entered a reciprocal arrangement (where each person is benefiting from the agreement)
- What degree of control did Alpro have on the tweet?
Because Alpro had engaged AJ Odudu to launch the product, which included certain activities over a specific period to include things like posting on social media, and because they had requested certain key points to be highlighted in the posts and that she wasn’t allowed to talk about competitive products, this met both questions requirements. If there hadn’t been the contract in place, it was unlikely that AJ Odudu would have tweeted this post, and by requesting the key points and no competitors, it meant that Alpro had some editorial control. Future posts like this must include #ad to clearly state that there is a relationship between the tweeter and the company.
Future posts like this must include #ad to clearly state that there is a relationship between the tweeter and the company.
Going back to the title of this post – does this mean that #bloggermail should be disclosed? If the brand is requesting that you post about it, and that you mention specific points, it is probably best to be safe and mark it as #ad.