Brands and influencers not disclosing partnerships, HypeAuditor study finds

Alexander Frolov, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at HypeAuditor

HypeAuditor, the AI analytics platform for brands seeking fair, transparent, and effective influencer marketing, conducted an analysis of brands and influencers to assess whether they are abiding by the AANA’s updated code of ethics, whereby influencers are to disclose partnerships with #ad #sponsored or other clear markers or risk breaching the code.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has begun a crackdown on social media influencers after it received over 150 tip-offs from the public. It is reported that most of these were about influencers in beauty and lifestyle, as well as parenting and fashion, failing to disclose their affiliation with the product or company they are promoting.

What were the findings of HypeAuditor’s study?

In that regard, HypeAuditor conducted an analysis of all social media posts with #ad and #sponsored that were shared by Aussie Instagram influencers in January 2023. Out of the 521,000 Instagram posts from Australian influencers, there were only 1,368 posts with brand mentions from 855 influencers that had #ad or #sponsored. The Top 5 Australian brands that had the most mentions from influencers in January 2023 are:

  • Kmartaus; No posts with clear disclosure despite 439 brand mentions from 222 influencers
  • Woolworths_au; Only 17 posts out of 365 brand mentions from 212 influencers had #ad and #sponsored

  • Colessupermarkets; Only 7 posts out of 250 brand mentions from 127 influencers had #ad and #sponsored

  • Bigwaustralia; Only 25 posts out of 139 brand mentions from 103 influencers had #ad and #sponsored

  • Myer; Only 2 posts out of 104 brand mentions from 58 influencers had #ad and #sponsored

These five Australian brands generated a total of 1151 mentions from 587 Aussie influencers. Despite 25% of posts (293) being likely sponsored, only 4.4% (51 posts) followed the AANA code of ethics by having proper disclosure with #ad and #sponsored.

What is HypeAuditor’s take on the findings?

Alex Frolov, CEO and Co-Founder of HypeAuditor commented, “Since the code came into effect in February 2021, not much has changed in the way influencers and brands operate.”

“It is surprising that the ACCC is conducting a crackdown only on influencers when brands are also not abiding by the rules and regulations in the way they work with influencers and how they tackle advertising for the protection of the consumers,” Alex Frolov concluded.