Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has raised concerns regarding the rise in influencer marketing through online advertisements on blogs and social media platforms.
She explained, “Social media is a very powerful and influential platform, especially among our young people. As influencer marketing, where people with large social media followings are paid to promote certain brands and products, grows, so does the need to make sure that the medium is properly monitored and that the obligations that apply to conventional advertising apply here also.
“These digital influencers command impressive followings who consider the attitudes, choices and judgements of these online “gurus” as gospel.
“Both the Public Relations Institute of Ireland and the Advertising Authority of Ireland have set out recommended guidelines for online bloggers and influencers to declare paid for posts. However, affiliate deals are a new way of monetising a blog or profile through the products recommended in posts. If a user clicks through an affiliate link and purchases something, the blogger earns commission.
“We expect journalists in broadcast and print media to abide by the certain ethical codes of standards and we should be assured that similar regulations are in place for paid online influencers,” concluded Senator Ardagh.