The promotion of products that are digitally enhanced by social media influencers should not mislead their followers, according to the Advertising Standards Authority.
The head of the Advertising Standards Authority Of Ireland made the announcement after complaints that customers were not being fully informed about products they may buy because of an influencer's recommendation.
At the moment, post-production techniques are not prohibited under current advertising rules, however, influencers should not be exploiting the lack of knowledge of their fanbase. Orla Twomey, CEO of ASAI, believes people should be made aware of the altered images:
The extent of the photoshopping is such that it actually is implying that that’s what you’ll get when you use the product and that’s not the case - well that is misleading...If you’re going to be using post-production techniques in a manner in which might mislead it should be flagged.
Recently social media users have put Irish influencers under the microscope as they become increasingly fed up with their lack of responsibility:
I have a lot of respect for loads of Irish bloggers and influencers & many friends there too, but people really need to realise that life is not about everyone adoring you 100% of the time and all jobs require you to be able to take feedback, good and bad. That's all x
— Holly x (@hollyshortall) January 7, 2018
So called Irish "influencers" are seeing a huge online backlash recently, instead of taking things personally they need to look at this from a business perspective and review WHY there is a backlash and look at what they can do to rescue their brands.
— Keith Kennedy (@keithdsign) January 16, 2018
So like, are all these Irish influencers going to address the Photoshop/blocking followers/lying about products thing or what? ???
— Zoë Alicia (@ZoeAlicia101) January 15, 2018
An Instagram account has been created to 'call out' the misleading posts of influencers and has already gained over 12,000 followers. The backlash from social media has urged Irish influencers to create an anti-bullying campaign to shut down pages and groups that are calling out their brand.
I don't think it's bullying either. A social influencer is a person in the public eye who uses their image to sell things to people. If that image is photoshopped people are dangerously buying into something unattainable & that should be exposed.
— Claire Kane (@itsclairekane) January 6, 2018
I do wonder why someone would bother setting up an account to "expose" Irish influencers but putting two pictures side by side and pointing out that one has been edited does not a bully make. It just means you have the gift of sight. And you can Google.
— Rosemary Mac Cabe ❄️ (@RosemaryMacCabe) January 6, 2018