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CONAR launches a guide for digital influencers

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The National Council for AdvertisingSelf-Regulation (CONAR) launched the Guide for Digital Influencers in November2020 to establish standards and ethical criteria in advertising to be carriedby the channels used by such influencers.

CONAR, as already implied in itsname, is a self-regulatory council and, therefore, does not have enforcementpower.  It acts in conjunction withadvertising, marketing, and communication bodies, to avoid abusive, misleading,fraudulent, offensive content or violations of fair market competition.

CONAR defines the following principles of advertisingethics:

- every advertisement must be honest and true and respect the laws of the country;
- must be prepared with the proper sense of social responsibility, avoiding accentuating social differences;
- must bear in mind the responsibility of the production chain with the consumer;
- must respect the principle of fair competition, and
- must respect advertising activity and not undermine public confidence in the services that advertising provides.

The guide starts by stating three requirementsto have an advertisement made by a digital influencer:

1. the disclosure of the product, service, cause, or other sign associated with them;
2. compensation or commercial relationship, even if not financial, with the Advertiser and/or Agency; and
3. any interference by the Advertiser and/or Agency in the content of the message (editorial control over the Influencer’s post), by contract (formal or informal), through which advertising is requested or suggested, with greater or less detail of content, time, frequency or form of posting proposed to the Influencer.

CONAR clarifies that the editorialcontrol provided for in item 3 above is not achieved by mere contact betweenthe advertiser and the user, with the simple presentation of the product orguidance on consumption and respective care.

CONAR also stipulates that anyadvertising must be clearly identified as material with advertising content,emphasizing that the form of identification can vary, as long as it is meaningis very clear to those who will read it. Extra care should be given withmaterial directed towards children and teenagers.

The guide ends by discussing activated messages(received / gifts), engagement, and user-generated content, although unrelatedto the advertiser or agency, must consider the requirements described above.

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