We've all read the posts. The internet is awash with blogger guides for how to comply with the law on disclosing sponsored content to your followers on your blog, website, Twitter, Facebook and even in . your Instagram stories, but the one influencer network no one talks about disclosure on is Pinterest.
Really, because the guidelines set out by and Advertising Standards Agency (this post is most useful for UK influencers, you should check the guidelines in your own country, though they all tend to be pretty similar!) tend to lump all social media together, the rules are not that different.
When the brand has control over the content of the post and rewards the influencer with a payment, free gift, or other perk, the post becomes an ad. If the commercial intent isn't clear from the overall context of the communication, it should be labelled as an ad so as not to break the ASA’s rules and mislead the influencer's audience. - Advertising Standards Agency
Consumers should always be aware when they are being advertised to. Failure to disclose the commercial relationship an influencer may leave a brand at risk of a complaint to the ASA.
So how best to apply this on Pinterest?
While it is obvious to anyone who posts sponsored content on Instagram using the #ad hashtag will lower your engagement thanks to the new(ish) Instagram algorithm (annoying if your business account does not yet have the option to use their sponsored post tag at the top of your post, but there we go!), this is not really a thing on Pinterest. You'll notice that however long your pin description is, your first few hashtags will show up in the description in a feed. As the guidelines state it needs to be clear that your content is sponsored before someone engages with it (on Pinterest this means clicking on any links, repinning or enlarging the pin for more information) it is a safe bet to include an #ad hashtag right after the pin description.
So which pins do I need to mark as sponsored?
Obviously any pin you are being directly paid to pin by a brand needs to be marked as sponsored. It's a grey area if you should mark as sponsored a pin you created from a sponsored campaign when Pinterest activity was not stipulated in your contract, but it is better to be safe than sorry. What may not be obvious, is that you also need to mark any pins with affiliate links, say from Amazon Associates, rewardStyle or ShopStyle Collective need to be marked as sponsored too.
If the content wholly relates to affiliated products, it may be necessary to use an identifier like ‘Ad’ in the title of the post so that the commercial nature of the material is clear before the user clicks through to the content. - ASA
Online Influencers - is it an #ad? (ASA Blog)
#Ad(vice) - Making clear that an ad is an ad (ASA Blog)
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