Social media platform, Instagram, recently targeted rule-breaking influencers and said that it will do more to catch those who fail to disclose when they have been paid for their posts. Following an investigation by a UK watchdog which found that the platform was failing to protect consumers from being misled, Instagram said that it has decided to report users who inadequately label their posts to the business whose products they endorse.



Far from the glosses and gushings so often attributed to what began as a photography app, Instagram started as an online community but steadily evolved into a platform for brands to reinforce marketing messages for their own commercial benefit. To this end, brands pay influencers, like models and sports stars, directly to post on the platform. However, in recent years it has become apparent that many of these brands are failing to properly track the amount they pay from their own reaping, and, consequently, that small businesses are paying large amounts for posts undermining their reputation.

Attending a seminar hosted by the Aberdeen academy early in June, signatory Madmoo Page, general manager at rival travel website Quick.Relay, made her feelings known, saying: "My biggest complaint is the fact that the platforms aren't making as much effort as they should to disarm advertisers, who are constantly pitching for our business. I come from a small business with limited resources and while I'm proud to pay our favourite bloggers, the large networks and trusted banners don't even come close to covering the small amount of money I spend on advertising every month."

In her article, Page added – referring to Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs – that "marketing by mere association is not what is wanted."

Yet, why is this ...

it's wrong to tell advertisers their business partners were paid more for her product than they'd be paid for singing for an entire hour

it's wrong for the platform to report prominent accounts on its platform who break this type of reduction

but it's right for advertisers to ensure they're telling the truth

…but why isn't this a malpractice:

industry average referral commission rates are $0.52 – £0.59 for social media advertising

these tactics – paying for promoting an event (or only promotion of product sales, as the case may be) – run counter to the currents

except where the message is deeply personal – not compelling, engaging; hard not to see as marketing unless you've invested a lot rather than just one or two tweets

large organisations have good funding structures that enable them to respond to both the requirements of buyers' buying agents and the problems of R&D

When asked if she got the impression that this platform was interested in creating systems that were tilted to favour competitors, Chief Executive of the Advertising Standards Authority Martin Harris responded:

"The scheme's main goal is disclosure. Anyone
g