ASA clarify rulings on sponsored content and review posts

Are you a sex toy reviewer or book reviewer that writes in exchange for products or erotica? Are you a sex toy business, publisher or author that send out products or books for review?

Today the Advertising Standards Agency have issued a statement clarifying the position on review posts, disclosure and the law.

You can read the full copy here, but I’ve pulled out some pertinent points;

All paid for review posts need to include a disclosure;

We’re reminding bloggers who are paid to write positive reviews or comments about a product or service that they must be up-front with their followers by making clear that it’s advertising. Not only will this help bloggers avoid misleading people and breaking the ad rules, it will also stop them from potentially breaking the law.

Why? Because paid for review posts are a form of advertising;

Put simply, a blogger who is given money to promote a product or service has to ensure readers are aware they’re being advertised to.

It doesn’t just apply to bloggers, companies should be ensuring disclosure happens too;

If a paid for entry on a blog wasn’t disclosed we would investigate the advertiser and hold them accountable.

How to disclose correctly is simple;

Signposting it as “ad” “advertorial” or “sponsored content” is a simple hassle free way to make it immediately clear to readers.

It all comes down to trust;

Bloggers can hold great sway and influence amongst their followers. It’s important, therefore, that they treat their followers fairly…The fact is the reputation and trust that bloggers work so hard to foster amongst their followers can disappear very quickly. Misleading your followers is hardly the best advertisement for your blog.

For a more detailed post on review posts and the law, including US law, please go here.

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