ISBA has drawn up new contracts in a bid to help brands address some of the key challenges presented in influencer marketing, including fake followers, identifying fraud and non-disclosure issues. The contracts include a framework for micro influencers in addition to brands working with celebrity and social talent, and those working with talent agencies. The aim is to help brands and influencers understand what is expected of them as well as giving advertisers the confidence to work with influencers. Gravity Thinking carried out research for ISBA and found its members are planning on increasing their influencer marketing budgets (80%) but over half (60%) didn’t feel confident about working with them. The research also found that ISBA’s members were keen to create more serious relationships with influencers.

New clauses

The contracts include new clauses that address labelling content to make sure that the influencer realises their responsibility when labelling social campaigns and brands understand how content should be correctly disclosed after finding this was a pain point for some brands.‘‘Influencer marketing is on the rise amongst almost every brand owner and ISBA wants to make sure that good standards of practice are set in this area. This starts with the commercial terms that are put in place between the brand and influencer,” commented Debbie Morrison, ISBA’s director of consultancy.Another area the new contracts cover is the issue of fake followers and what brands can expect of influencers. Keith Weed flagged the issue at Cannes earlier this year, stating that the only solution to fake follower fraud is total eradication. ISBA added that marketers should “adopt” more sophisticated metrics as opposed to just follower numbers.  “Since our last contracts were created two years ago, much has moved on in the market, issues such as content labelling and fake followers need addressing, our previous templates were also on the heavy side for micro-influencer relationships. So we have created a new micro-influencer template and updated our original terms,” said Morrison.“There is a growing awareness that influencer marketing content needs to be labelled correctly. Brands and influencers are also keen to tackle the issues that threaten consumer trust in influencers, such as bots and fake followers,” added Jo Farmer, partner in law firm Lewis Silkin.

Raising the standard

Marketers, agencies and influencers are available on request. The contracts aim to raise the standards across the influencer marketing space and indeed set a much-needed standard as while there are UK rules, platforms have their own guidelines that brands pay more attention to than perhaps trying to understand the advertising codes. ISBA worked with lawyers and various disciplines to produce the final contracts.
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