HypeAuditor reveals partnership disclosure still low among Instagram influencers

A significant portion of Instagram influencers are still failing to disclose sponsored and partnership posts with brands, according to AI analytics platform HypeAuditor.

That’s despite the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA)’s latest code of ethics update in February requiring influencers to clearly disclose partnerships with #ad or #sponsored, or other clear markers.

HypeAuditor conducted an analysis of posts by Australian Instagram influencers that had brand mentions between March and April of 2021, and found that from 2,548 posts with brand mentions, 1,366 used #ad or #sponsored hashtags.

HypeAuditor CEO and co-founder, Alex Frolov, said he was surprised that only a couple of posts (Bachelor winner Anna Heinrich and influencer Rozalia) have been exposed for breaching the code since it came into effect.

“Our analysis indicates that disclosure of ads for Australian influencers is so far the exception rather than the rule, and it is surprising that only two posts so far have been exposed, from Influencer and former Bachelor winner Anna Heinrich and influencer Rozalia, since the code came into effect in February 2021.

HypeAudior also looked into the top 5 Australian brands with the most mentions from influencers over the last 30 days.

They were: Princess Polly (4 posts out of 215 brand mentions from 155 influencers had #ad or #sponsored), Lounge Underwear (4 posts out of 106 brand mentions from 94 influencers had #ad and #sponsored), Esmi Skin Minerals (3 posts out of 58 brand mentions from 51 influencers had #ad and #sponsored) and Cotton On Body (2 posts out of 62 brand mentions from 45 influencers had #ad and #sponsored).

White Fox, meanwhile, had no posts with clear disclosure despite 105 brand mentions from 55 influencers.

Across the five brands, HypeAuditor found a total of 546 mentions from 400 Aussie influencers. It determined that although 30% of posts (163) were likely sponsored, only 7.9% (13 posts) followed the AANA code and had proper disclosure.

Frolov said more needs to be done by brands, and that the onus shouldn’t only be on the influencers to do the right thing, with education key.

“It seems that influencers are the ones in the firing line when it comes to breaching of the code, however the onus should not just be on influencers to do the right thing. More needs to be done by brands to make sure they are aligning with codes and regulation around advertising for the protection of the consumers”.


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