US regulations prohibit covert Instagram ads
A recent article drew attention to the fact that many Instagram super users, who covertly promote brands, could be contravening US regulations. The regulation in question states that if an Instagram user posts a photo and receives payment of any sort (including in kind), they have to explicitly disclose it on every photo. Just tagging a photo may not be enough. The leading global authority for social media marketing, Womma, also explicitly disapproves of such covert advertising in its code of ethics. Legal issues aside, isn’t it just a bit rubbish to post a photo on Instagram because you’re getting some sort of compensation and not tell your followers?
A few weeks ago I blogged that Instagram would suffer if it got a reputation for being full of adverts. I also noted that the company had taken steps to prevent too many super users being created in the future, perhaps in order to curb the exploitation of its platform for commercial purposes. But it should go further. If the platform is used for illegal advertising, more than its brand would suffer.
I was given 3 mojitos and a blow-up Usain Bolt arm to post this photo