Influencer marketing now has an industry Code of Practice

The Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AIMCO) has released the industry’s first Influencer Marketing Code of Practice, driven by the organisation’s three principals of transparency, best-practice and accountability, and industry leadership.

The code provides marketers and creators with guidelines on the legal and recommended procedures behind influencer campaigns, from the vetting process, to contract considerations, advertising disclosure requirements and the reporting of metrics.

The code will apply to anyone working in the influencer marketing industry, including talent representatives and managers, industry marketplaces, media and PR agencies, advertisers and platforms influencers use to publish their content.

The Australian Influencer Marketing Council was established late last year

The code also covers intellectual property rights of the content made by the creators for brands. It stipulates that ownership of the content, including text, images, video and the terms of use, should be clearly defined in the contract for each platform the partnership will take place on. It also states that reposting and attribution should be clearly documented and procedure for comment moderation should be decided at the point of contract negotiations.

Last year, Vic Health studied the activities of Australia’s top 70 Instagram influencers when promoting alcoholic beverages and found that many were not disclosing that their content was part of a commercial partnership.

At the time, Vic Health’s acting CEO Dr Lyn Roberts compared the practices of the alcohol industry to that of ‘Big Tobacco’.

“Our research shows the alcohol industry is employing tactics straight out of the playbook of Big Tobacco, using high-profile influencers to make their products appear glamorous and sophisticated to young people,” Roberts said.

AIMCO’s Guiding Council, formed from 17 of the founding members of the industry body, will oversee the implementation of the code across the industry. It will also be working with members to explore the development of an accreditation framework.

Detch Singh, founder and CEO of Hypetap, an influencer marketing service provider, has been elected as inaugural chair of the AIMCO’s Guiding Council. Publicis Media head of sport and content, Patrick Whitnall, and Pod Legal business director, Karan White, will serve as deputies.

Singh said the industry has met the introduction of the code with enthusiasm.

“It has been incredible to see the enthusiasm with which the industry has come together for this initiative. Influencer marketing is now widely recognised as a powerful channel, but we have lacked a common language or voice as an industry,” he said.

“AIMCO will be working hard to execute an agenda of strengthening confidence in the category for marketers, creators and the general public.”

The Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA) launched AIMCO in September last year and worked with the industry to develop the code of practice.

AANA CEO, John Broome, said the code will install some much-needed trust into influencer marketing in Australia.

“Advertisers are keen to support responsible social influencer marketing. This new code of conduct will help build trust in online advertising through transparency and disclosure. It’s an important step forward for the industry,” Broome said.

AIMCO’s members include: Allegiant Media/Tagger Media, Apex Sports Marketing, CHE Proximity, Co-maker, Day Management, DVM Law, Hello Social, Hyland, Hypetap, JOOC’D, MediaCom, OMD Create, PHD Media, Pod Legal, Publicis Media, Q-83, Reprise Digital, Social Law Co, Social Soup, The Lifestyle Suite, TotallyAwesome, TRIBE, Vamp, Wavemaker, We Are Social and WOM Network/Mouths of Mums.


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