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Takumi CAP

A majority of marketers handling social influencers ignorant of (or ignoring) CAP guidelines


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

April 8, 2016 | 3 min read

Many marketers have no grasp on the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code which policies how their goods can be publicised through social influencers.

The Takumi app, a platform connecting brands with influencers, ran a survey of 500 UK PR and marketing professionals saw only 37 per cent of respondents admit they follow the CAP, the national guidelines on how to advertise and promote products to consumers.

Over a third of respondents (37.60 per cent) always tagged paid influencer as #ad or #sp to inform consumers they are watching content purchased or sponsored by a brand, as required by the CAP. Another 34.7 per cent were fully aware of the code but chose not to adhere to the sign posting.

Fifteen per cent were somewhat aware of the code but had no idea about the requirement to signpost content and almost 12 per cent were unfamiliar with the CAP code.

Smaller brands are more likely to ditch signposting in influencer marketing campaigns. Half of businesses (50-100 employees) admitted they don’t fully comply with the CAP’s influencer guidelines. For large brands with over 500 employees, this drops to 1 in 5 (20 per cent).

Mats Stigzelius, co-founder of Takumi, said: “Influencer marketing is a relatively new practice, and brands, PRs and marketers are still adjusting to it like they did with social media not too long ago. Our research proves there’s a lot of uncertainty and trepidation about the best way to run campaigns - from the rules of payment to how much creative freedom to offer.

“The industry has only scratched the surface of the potential that influencer marketing holds but for brands to develop campaigns and make them more effective there needs to be more clarity around the rules of engagement.”

On the back of the data, Takumi says it works with the ASA to actively encourage and inform brands about the importance of using hashtags to signpost campaigns as paid-for content.

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