The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)has declared that any creator with more than 30,000 followers will be deemed a celebrity.
This follows a case featuring Sanofi, a lifestyle blogger with 32,000 Instagram followers, who shared a sponsored post promoting their own medicinal products of antihistamine and sleep aid, called Phenergan Night Time tablets.
Under UK law, celebrity endorsement of medication is prohibited, with Sanofi responding that their audience is significantly lower than other celebrities like Stephen Fry, or David Beckham, who have 359,000 and 55 million followers respectively.
In its ruling, the ASA said that they, “noted Sanofi's argument regarding the comparatively low number of followers”, however, Sanofi was clear of how significant her audience was, and therefore qualified under a celebrity status.
Last year, the ASA produced an Influencer’s Guide to offer advice for influencers concerned with paid material, after a number were found to be showcasing poor or non-existent disclosure. YouTuber Zoe Sugg was among celebrities who had their online behaviour clarified by the ASA.
“Influencers can have a huge impact on what their fans decide to buy. People could, quite rightly, feel misled if what they thought was a recommendation from someone they admired turns out to be a marketing ploy,” said Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority.
“You should be able to tell as soon as you look at a post if there is some form of payment or reward involved, so you can decide whether something is really worth spending your hard-earned money on.”