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Influencer Marketing Trade Body sets up regulation advice line

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By Hannah Bowler | Journalist

July 11, 2022 | 4 min read

The Influencer Marketing Trade Body (IMTB) has launched an advice hotline to help marketers avoid falling foul of advertising regulations.

The trade body has rolled out its ‘Reassure’ helpline

The trade body has rolled out its ‘Reassure’ helpline / IMTB

In response to increased regulation in the influencer marketing space, the trade body has partnered with legal consultants Hashtag Ad Consulting to offer its members one-to-one phone consultations.

Areas of law covered under the ‘Reassure’ service include ad disclosure; consumer protection legislation; terms for prize draws and competitions; cryptocurrencies; greenwashing; and protecting young people.

Hashtag Ad Consulting already provides strategic advice to influencers, brands and agencies. The firm is led by Rupa Shah, who is a member of the Committee of Advertising Practice’s promotional marketing and direct response panel and Klarna’s influencer panel.

In May the DCMS published its influencer culture report, which called for the government to legislate to protect ‘kidfluencers,’ introduce an employment code of conduct and give more powers to the ad regulators. The DCMS’s response to the report was due to be published today (June 11), but it’s likely to be delayed after the resignations of two of its ministers last week – Chris Philp, the minister for tech and the digital economy, and Julia Lopez, the UK’s minister for digital infrastructure and data.

The launch was initially intended to be timed with the government’s response to help members understand the incoming legislation. In the meantime, ‘Reassure’ will be helping agencies understand existing regulations set by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The IMTB’s director-general Scott Guthrie declared 2022 the year of “regulatory and legislative scrutiny of the influencer marketing industry.”

The IMTB launched in October with six founding members – Takumi, Inca, Tagger, Whalar, Ogilvy and The Fifth. It has since added six more agencies – Ben Group Inc, Good Influence, Fourth Floor, ITB Worldwide, Seen Connects and What They Said.

Guthrie said influencer marketers need to take “care” to ensure they don’t mislead consumers in areas such as crypto or be “socially irresponsible in the way bitcoin or NFTs are promoted.” He added that agencies have a “duty of care to protect the young and the vulnerable,” and need to avoid making misleading environmental claims.

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