With the onslaught of laws, brands are being cautious of associating with social media influencers.
The recent overview of UAE laws mandates brand influencers to register themselves and obtain an annual license in order to continue as brand influencers., Introduction of these laws was in response to influencers using questionable and unlawful means to boost their followership and promoting brands on their platform without clarifying as a personal endorsement or an ad. This also came into consideration, owing to the influencers promoting products such as diet supplements, nutritional medicines without verifying their legitimacy.
With the onslaught of laws, brands are being cautious of associating with social media influencers and are examining whether these laws will have any effect on their consumer engagement. Firstly, the new laws questions authenticity of influencers. Up until now, so-called social media influencers were using their social media profiles solely to claim favours from brands such as free hotel stays, meals, air tickets, gadgets etc…without any relevant experience or knowledge. These influencers lacked any journalistic training and would falsely boosted profiles to claim offers. With the new laws in place, it is now easy to identify genuine influencers who can help increase brand engagement. Secondly, these laws regulate influencers in a similar manner as to media professionals which means that they are required to conduct their own due diligence prior to promoting a brand and disclose all relevant facts and information. Ads on profile need to be clarified as #Ads and any behind-the-scene sponsorship/exchange deal also needs to be disclosed.
Without any doubt, the regulatory laws are put in place to weed out any wrongdoings and false claims by the influencers on their effectiveness. This allows brands to clearly identify and deploy influencers based on their ability to influence consumer’s buying behavior. Influencer marketing campaigns can now be executed much more effectively with influencers now being held accountable based on their effectiveness.
The success of influencer marketing is based on the assumption that consumers do seek an authentic and unbiased opinion. These new regulatory laws are a step towards creating accountability and protecting the rights of the consumer. Once in effect, brands will benefit from them as they can be assured that the influencer they are associating with has a proven consumer engagement rate and is likely to cause the brand any liabilities.