Are you still a blogger or are you already a celebrity? Rising Instagram asterisks may be less likely to ask this question. And yet it is extremely relevant, as the case of a British blogger once again clearly shows.
Who is influential? Who does not? And when am I actually influential? These questions seem conceited at first glance – and they are. Nevertheless, they are gaining in importance in the context of emerging influencer marketing.
And that’s not even necessarily because the digital opinion makers themselves ask these questions. Sure, some certainly do. But that’s not the point. More often, lawyers deal with these questions.
Because whether a blogger or influencer is now influential-that is, influencing his community’s ability to buy products-has implications for how and in what form he is judged and treated.
The fact that there is still no uniform definition, have recently clarified in Germany, the cases to the blogger Vreni Frost and to player-wife and influencer Cathy Hummels.
British Advertising Authority rates Blogger with 38,000 followers as a celebrity
And in the UK, another case is attracting attention. It’s about the blogger Sarah, who currently has about 38,000 followers on Instagram with “Thismamalife”.
The mother had advertised on her account in early July 2019 an advertisement for sleeping pills of the French pharmaceutical group Sanofi. This, in turn, had prompted the British advertising agency ASA (Advertising Standards Authority).
The inspectors had then objected to the complaint. In response, the client Sanofi said that the influencer “has a small and niche following.” Sarah is also unable to “influence a customer’s medical decision.”
The ASA sees the expected differently. The agency is convinced that Sarah, with her 38,000 followers, has already reached a significant number of people and is therefore considered a celebrity in a promotional context.
Blogger Vs. Celebrity: Why the difference is relevant
But why is it so important if a blogger is just a blogger or a celebrity? The answer provides a look in the British Advertising Code. There is the paragraph 12.18:
Additionally, medical professionals and celebrities should not be used in ads to endorse medicines.
In concrete terms, this means that great influencers and famous personalities are not allowed to promote drugs or medical products.
In case of doubt, this will also be decisive for German influencers if they cooperate with British companies or interact with their community in English and thus potentially also appeal to users from the UK.
The judgments of ASA are not legally binding. Nevertheless, meanwhile all corresponding postings of Sarah’s account have disappeared. And German influencers should be careful with medication. The regulations in this country are at least as strict.
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About the author
Christian Erxleben has been Editor-in-Chief of BASIC thinking since the end of 2017. Previously, he worked as Head of Social Media and Head of Social Media at BASIC thinking. His way to BASIC thinking was via the Nrnberger Nachrichten, Focus Online and the INTERNET WORLD Business. Professionally and privately he loves and lives social media.