ISBA releases influencer marketing code of conduct for British advertisers

The Drum 14 Sep 2021 12:10


Advertising lobby group the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) has released a code of conduct for influencer marketing, designed to make the sector more transparent for consumers.

The Code, a collection of best practice guidelines for influencer marketing and creator content, will help dispel the sector’s negative image.

What does the code involve?

  • The 40-point Code includes advice and guidelines governing relationships between creators and brands – and covers aspects such as due diligence when selecting creators, providing adequate protection from online abuse to creators, clear briefs and co-operative approahces to content creation, and timely payment.

  • While not a legal document, ISBA hope the Code will be attached to legal contracts and referred to in the workplace.

  • Scott Guthrie, director general of the forthcoming Influencer Marketing Trade Body, said: “The number of influencer platforms and agencies has exploded over the past five years, from 190 to 1,360 worldwide. It’s inevitable that whilst most incumbents are good actors, there will be some who do not act in good faith. Marking yourself out as one of the good guys starts with accountability. Signing up to this code demonstrates that commitment to accountability. The Influencer Marketing Trade Body is dedicated to securing a sustainable, professional future for influencer marketing. We welcome ISBA’s code and are pleased to have been part of its review process.“

  • Several major UK brands have already signed up to support the launch of the Code, including Lidl,, Specsavers, Tesco, PepsiCo, Paddy Power, LG and L’Oréal.

  • Jill Dougan, ISBA executive committee chair and customer director, British Gas Energy said: “As marketing continues to evolve, it is vital we keep pace with new marketing channels and ensure they are being used honestly and authentically. Influencer marketing is a great way to reach and engage with customers but until now there has not been a common code that everyone involved adheres to. The ISBA Code of Conduct will be a valuable tool to anyone involved in influencer marketing.”

  • Conduct between influencers and brands is not the only element of the sector to move toward standardisation. Measurement of influencer content and campaigns is becoming increasingly strict, as Ogilvy and and GroupM revealed recently.

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