As more consumers are turning towards social media for financial guidance, Klarna, the Swedish fintech company that allows consumers to pay for products and services online in installments, has set up an ‘Influencer Council’ to ensure clear guidelines surrounding the promotion of its tools.

With sites such as ASOS, PrettyLittleThing, and Missguided all hosting the Klarna payment option, their service is attractive to a target audience similar to that which engages heavily in influencer-generated content. This means that influencer marketing is a key focus of Klarna’s advertising and marketing strategies. However, when promoting a financial service, it is essential that extra care is taken in regards to rules and guidelines to ensure that consumers are spending sensibly.

Klarna has noticed how quickly online platforms can evolve, in turn, meaning guidelines have to be revised regularly. The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) guidelines are often unwittingly misunderstood by advertisers and their clients, as we have very recently covered, which is why Klarna felt it necessary to put their own protocols in place.

How will the influencer council work?

In the company’s announcement launching the influencer council, Klarna said, “Research revealed that more and more Brits are turning to influencers for financial guidance. Just under a third (30%) of consumers who have seen an influencer or a celebrity giving financial guidance have acted upon it, rising to 53% when Gen-Z (those aged between 16 and 24) were asked.”

The research collected by Censuswide, commissioned by Klarna, also presented that just a quarter (27%) of the UK said that they understand the purpose of #ad, #affiliate, and #gifted tags on influencers’ posts.

Klarna’s influencer council will aim to provide the utmost clarity and transparency for consumers, brands, influencers, and advertising bodies by developing a Whitepaper of guidelines regarding what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to advertising financial products and services such as their own.

The council held its first meeting yesterday, which welcomed input from those with direct experience as to how guidelines can and should be interpreted in order to best serve consumers. Chaired by social media expert, Christian Howes, other members of the panel include; Youtuber and Blogger Amelia Liana, a spokesperson from PrettyLittleThing, psychotherapist and author Owen O’Kane, and more.

In order to offer an insider perspective from a variety of parties on the current guidelines, the council team will continue to adapt and update the Whitepaper of guidelines as the market continues to evolve and change – ensuring that consumers are educated about mindful spending, and aware when content surrounding finance is promotional.

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