Influencer marketing is a relatively new practice but is nonetheless steadily growing in popularity and ad spend.  The inherent fragmentation and volume of the influencer landscape, coupled with potentially any citizen becoming a content creator promoting products or services, makes it particularly difficult to capture and keep the new marketing practice within the fold of the current regulatory and self-regulatory frameworks.

This two-fold issue, the sudden growth and lack of nascent structuring of influencer marketing, leads to possible issues of irresponsible practices. For instance, the network of European Self-Regulatory organisations (SROs) has been handling a growing number of complaints related to influencer marketing. Out of 50,000 complaints handled by the SR network in 2022, 50% we related to online content and 32% of those related to influencer marketing.

The ad industry has a collective interest in ensuring that the entire advertising value chain and all marketing practices are responsible. This is why EASA has been stepping up its efforts to develop best practices, provide information and training for influencers. Below, you will find an overview of EASA’s key initiatives to help ensure responsible influencer marketing.

EASA Best Practice Recommendation on Influencer Marketing

EASA’s Best Practice Recommendations (BPRs) are designed to provide support and advice to EASA’s self-regulatory organisations and industry members on the practice of advertising self-regulation. They are a valuable resource when SROs are creating their own national guidance.

As early as 2018, EASA developed a BPR on Influencer Marketing to provide guidance on the remit and application of self-regulatory rules when addressing this growing marketing practice. The BPR has been recently updated in 2023 to take into account regulatory guidance and actual practices flagged by SROs. The BPR contains guidance about when user-generated content constitutes a marketing communication and is therefore subject to principles of responsible advertising. It covers rules for transparency and disclosure focusing on the prominence, location, and moment such disclosure is needed. It also provides information about the potential of training content creators and monitoring influencer marketing content. You can find the latest version here.

Certificate for Responsible Influence

The certification of influencers as being responsible in their commercial communication presupposes that they are aware of the rules and principles governing online advertising and that they comply with them in their publications. This is why the Certificate for Responsible Influence has two components: a training component to make the rules and principles known, and a monitoring component to ensure compliance with these rules.

The Influencer Marketing Standards Training (IMST) is the first step. The IMST is a fast, accessible, and affordable training for influencers and content creators all across Europe. It provides them with the relevant know-how about advertising standards that they need, raising awareness about responsible marketing practices and therefore helping them communicate responsibly.

  • The IMST is an online course, created and managed by the local Self-Regulatory Organisations and/or in partnership with their stakeholders. Two countries have already launched their course, France and the Netherlands, and 11 other SROs are currently developing theirs. The IMST is divided into modules that explain the main principles and rules applicable in each local market.
  • The content goes through all the relevant fundamental principles of responsible advertising, such as transparency disclosure, non-misleading claims, legal and ethical advertising, as well as social responsibility, and covers other important elements such as children and teens, safety, and sustainability
  • A test at the end of the course leads to a successful training completion document.

The Certificate for Responsible Influence is the second step. It involves, using artificial intelligence, to regularly monitor the publications made by certified influencers. Following the accession of Google, the first digital player to join the Alliance end of 2020, EASA has been able to provide financial support to SROs wishing to implement the monitoring of online advertising, including that of influencers. Since 2020, 13 SROs have already launched at least one ad hoc data-driven monitoring of online advertising. In France, ARPP set up its Responsible Influence Observatory in 2020 and has since certified more than 1,500 influencers. The aim is to extend this certification to as many countries as possible through a regular monitoring of influencer publications, the terms of which have yet to be defined (frequency, sample, etc.).


 Are you an influencer looking to ensure transparency in your collaborations with brands? A marketer striving to know the influencer marketing guidelines of different countries? EASA’s tool DiscloseMe is here to help you navigate the ever-evolving landscape of influencer marketing rules of disclosures. The tool provides you with transparency disclosure rules for different European countries – find yours here.