Recently there's been talk of a survey in which one in four influencers reported they've been asked by a brand on at least one occasion not to disclose they were compensated. Surely those brands weren't WOMMA members.
WOMMA members know that disclosure and transparency are critical to building and maintaining consumer trust. WOMMA members agree to follow our Code of Ethics, which requires disclosure of identity, relationship and compensation, as well as honest, genuine opinions and communications.
A number of recent FTC cases, such as the one involving a well-known retail department store during Fashion Week in NYC, could have been avoided if the brands and/or influencers had been following the WOMMA Code of Ethics. They would have had adequate disclosure.
A deeper dive into the same influencer survey revealed 95% of influencers said they typically tell followers when a brand has hired them to comment on products. One possible interpretation of these two separate data points could be that ethical influencers go the extra mile to educate any brand clients who may not be aware of the need for disclosure. If they are WOMMA members, there would be no doubt that they spread the word about ethical behavior.
Word of mouth testimonials are more effective in generating sales and changing opinions than paid advertising. Why? Because they come from trusted sources. With influencer marketing on a rapid rise, trust is playing an increasing role in consumers’ relationships with brands. This is a pivotal moment when we have an opportunity to encourage all word of mouth marketers to follow ethical standards that will preserve consumer trust and elevate the entire industry. The WOMMA Code of Ethics is a cornerstone of the principles that built this organization. Our members follow these high standards which are integral to maintaining a quality reputation. It’s what sets us apart. Help us spread the word.
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