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ARPP Responsible Influence Observatory: transparency around sponsored content has become the norm

New figures released by France’s advertising self-regulatory organization show transparent labeling of sponsored posts has risen sharply in recent years, and is now standard practice.

Releasing the results of its annual Responsible Influence Observatory (Observatoire de l’Influence Responsible) in Paris today, the ARPP (Authorité de Regulation Professionelle de Publicité), said 89% of sponsored posts in 2022 carried at least a partial label of the commercial partnership, up from 73% in 2020.

“Transparency is now generalized amongst content creators,” said ARPP Executive Vice president Mohamed Mansouri.

Since 2020, the ARPP’s Responsible Influence Observatory has used a mix of AI and human analysis to examine a selection of content posted on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

For the year 2022, it analyzed 31,004 contents posted by 7,306 KOLs, of which 17,276 were found to be sponsored posts. Of those more than half – 53% – were found to be in full compliance with requirements for immediate and transparent labeling, while 36% contained at least a partial mention that left room for improvement.

Just 11% of sponsored posts failed to include any mention of the commercial partnership.

ARPP Certificate of Responsible Influence delivers results

France’s influencer marketing industry has undergone a period of rapid professionalization over the past year, culminating with the introduction in June of new laws to codify the roles of “commercial influencer” and “influencer agent”.

Those laws also set out clear rules for transparency around sponsored posts which must now be clearly labeled “collaboration commerciale” or “publicité” (commercial collaboration or publicity).

The increased professionalism of content creators is born out in the figures; the vast majority of sponsored posts that remain un-labelled are made by creators with fewer than 10,000 followers.

Amongst this group, 23% of sponsored posts did not indicate their commercial nature. This compares to 10% of contents posted by KOLs with 10,000 – 1 million followers, and 8% of sponsored posts by top KOLs with more than 1 million followers that went unlabelled.

"A content creator is first and foremost someone who federates an audience thanks to their talent which is enhanced via their organic publications. It’s this quality of content and the affinity developed with their community that the brands come looking for, and not the other way round"
Mohamed Mansouri - ARPP Managing Director

Meanwhile, the number of creators seeking to complete the ARPP’s Certificate of Responsible Influence has risen sharply; as of 15 September 2023, 1,154 content creators with an accumulated audience of 450 million had completed the certificate.  

Of 18,317 contents posted by certified creators during the first six months of 2023, the ARPP found that 99% were at least partially labeled, while 84% were in full compliance with labeling rules.

Of contents posted by non-certified creators, 93% were at least partially labeled as sponsored.

“Knowledge of the rules is now generalized. The impact of the certificate [of Responsible Influence] is clear,” said Mansouri.

France is home to some 150,000 content creators, few of whom make a living from their activity, according to the ARPP.

Mansouri noted there is a “need to reverse the trend which accuses content creators of being publicity billboards”. The ARPP analyzed 128,000 contents posted by certified creators in the first half of 2023 and found that just 6% were sponsored content.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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