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How to declare ads as a small business on Instagram

Updated: Apr 24

How to declare ads as a small business on Instagram

Welcome to the wonderful world of Instagram advertising. Where creativity knows no bounds, and connections with your audience are just a hashtag away. But hey, with great power comes great responsibility, right? We’re diving into the nitty-gritty of knowing how to declare ads with a UK twist. Say hello to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA UK)! ASA UK is like the fairy godmother of advertising in the United Kingdom. Their job? Making sure we all play nice and fair when it comes to advertising. Whether you’re a small business owner or an influencer the ASA UK guidelines are here to keep things transparent, ethical, and, fair! Now, what does ASA UK expect from us small business wizards on Instagram? Let’s sprinkle some knowledge on it:

When and How to declare ADs?:

When a brand gives a small business/influencer a payment, any posts going forward that then promotes or endorces the brand or its products become subject to consumer protection law.

**Payment means any form of monetary payment; commission; a free loan of a product/ service; a free product/service (whether requested or received out of the blue); or any other incentive.

How to make it clear it is an AD?

Consumers should be able to recognise that something is an AD without having to click or interact with it. The AD needs to be clear and obvious from the start of the campaign. For example, if you are promoting your own products or services on your own channels it is CLEAR and OBVIOUS that you are talking about your own products. Influencer, affilliate marketing, brand collabs and gifting on the other hand are not obvious to the consumer, so this is where you will have to work a little harder to make is CLEAR and OBVIOUS that you are promoting something that is not yours.

What labels are okay?

The ASA advise using labels that clearly tell the consumer that you are advertising. For exmaple the following words would be how to declare ads: AD, Advert, Advertising, Advertisement, Adverstisement Feature. These could also be used with a hashtag at the beginning. You could also use the words Afflilliate, Gifted or Sponsored but it is advised to use these tags AFTER the word AD. The keywords needed to comply with the ASA are the words AD, Advert, Advertising, Advertisement, Adverstisement Feature. As these words directly call the content what it is.

A screenshot of an AD on instagram

How to present this information:

The main thing to remember is that you need to make the information OBVIOUS. Any keyword you use needs to highlight your AD and be used upfront and BEFORE people need to do anything like click or engage. This means that burying your label in hashtags, or at the very end of a post where it can only be seen by clicking ‘see more’ isn’t going to be enough. At the very beginning of a post is the most recommended way to disclose an AD.

…And that’s it. That’s how to declare an AD the right way so you do not run into any issues.

The way I personally like to remember all this information is that ANYTHING I am gifted or paid to promote I always just use the AD or AD | Gifted tag at the very beginning of my post and a gif in my stories. This way I know my followers can see clearly I am advertising and I am covered if the ASA come knocking!

A screenshot of an AD on instagram

Thank you for reading this post on how to declare ads as a small business on Instagram. I hope it was helpful. You can read my other blog posts here.

Big love, Clare | Okay Doodle – Your Happiness Bestie

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