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Study: Influencers silent on Affiliate Kickbacks

Researchers from Princeton have found that only 10.5% of affiliate marketing on YouTube is appropriately disclosed to viewers. There's even less proper disclosure on Pinterest.

Silence not golden

Australian marketers who use affiliates and influencers are advised to follow the Code of Ethics by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA). Section 2.7 says that ‘Advertising or Marketing Communication shall be clearly distinguishable as such to the relevant audience.’

Rules in the US are similar, enshrined by the Fair Trade Commission.

Looking at practices on YouTube and Pinterest, Princeton researchers have found that such distinctions are often not well made.

YouTubers disclose more than Pinners

The Princeton team found that 0.67% of sampled YouTube videos included affiliate marketing links. Only 10.5% of those affiliates gave any sore of disclosure within their content.

Worse, 0.85% of Pinterest pins were found to have affiliate links, just over 7% of which included any sort of disclosure.

This matters because?

Current self-regulation gives marketers wiggle room, but could wiggle into deceptive practices. If that happens, government is more likely to formally regulation the field, with stricter limitations and deeper legalities.

Scrunch recommends Aussie marketers ‘encourage influencers… to use the #ad or #sponsored hashtag’. If such practices are widely adopted, we may avoid a future wrought with legal obstacles.

If the Princeton finding about affiliate practices in the USA was duplicated in an Australian context, would the findings be about the same?
Photo by Julian Tysoe, used under CC BY 2.0, cropped by Copy Transmission

Copy Transmission is a Melbourne-based agency :: Better Brands. Loud & Clear.

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