London, 1st June 2021: Klarna, the leading global payments and shopping service, and its industry-wide Influencer Council, have released their Influencer Marketing Whitepaper to serve as a guide for influencers and brands to advertise online responsibly.
The Influencer Council, formed in March, was established to provide greater clarity on influencer marketing guidelines following research which revealed that only one quarter (27%) of UK consumers understood the use of advertising hashtags on influencers’ posts. The Council, chaired by Christian Howes, brought together brands, influencers, psychotherapists, policy members and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) to provide a well-rounded perspective from across the industry.
Over the course of several months, the Council discussed what best practice should look like for influencers posting advertisements across social media platforms and how to ensure greater understanding amongst consumers regarding owned and paid-for content. Covering a range of angles, including responsibility, geography and age range, transparency, emotive language and terminology, the Council created a dedicated set of guidelines for influencers and brands to follow when posting. These guidelines go further than any materials and guidance available today - for better protection of brands, consumers and influencers.
Accompanying the Whitepaper, Klarna has also released a toolkit which will include branded stickers, Instagram story templates and badges to clearly illustrate the nature of the post, whether it’s an advert, part of an affiliate agreement or gifted. This will be available for brands, influencers, consumers and agencies working with Klarna.
AJ Coyne, Head of UK Marketing at Klarna said: “By launching the Influencer Council, we set out to learn more about how brands, influencers and consumers interact with posts on social media and to create more clarity amongst online advertising guidelines. Each session has sparked fascinating discussions on responsibility, terminology and transparency and I believe that we’ve created guidance that is clear, easy to adopt and, most importantly, drives change for the better. These guidelines go further than any have done previously and set a precedent for brands across all industries to follow suit.
“We would like to thank all our Council members for their involvement and hope that our Whitepaper will encourage brands and influencers alike to work together to create a transparent community. ”
Influencer Council Chair, Christian Howes, said: “It’s been an honour to chair the Influencer Council and I am proud to have helped deliver a set of guidelines which will deliver greater understanding amongst consumers and influencers.
The industry is constantly evolving and so we will continue our meetings bi-annually to ensure that our guidelines keep up with the latest trends and are applicable across all platforms.”
The Council was held under Chatham House rules to ensure that discussion was open but all information was anonymously contributed. The Council will aim to meet twice a year, with the first follow-up meeting to be scheduled for November 2021.
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Notes to editor.
About the Council.
The Council met through virtual sessions which commenced on Thursday 11th March and held on a bi-weekly basis. All attendees were sent an agenda and any pre-read material prior to the session commencing in order to form any further points of discussion or research examples. Chatham House rules were applied to each session meaning all information is free to use, but who made the comment cannot be revealed and allowed for increased openness of discussion. A blog post was created for every session recapping topics covered, the conclusions and next steps.
This survey was conducted by Censuswide between 05.02.21 - 08.02.21. The sample of the survey consisted of 2849 social media users across the United Kingdom. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
- Christian Howes, Data & Analytics lead and broadcaster (Chairman)
- Nicki Capstick, Marketing Director, PrettyLittleThing
- Clare Seal, Creator of My Frugal Year, founder of The Financial Wellbeing Forum and author.
- Rupa Shah, Founder & Director of Hashtag Ad Consulting
- Joel Gladwin, Head of Policy at Coadec
- Kia Commodore, founder of financial literacy platform, Pennies To Pounds
- Amelia Liana, Youtuber and Blogger
- Owen O’Kane, Psychotherapist, author and former clinical lead for an NHS mental health service
- Lian Hirst, Founder of PR & Digital agency TRACE Publicity
- AJ Coyne, Head of Marketing, Klarna
Emma Smith, Copy Advice Manager
- David Elwis, Copy Advice Executive
We make shopping smooth. With Klarna, consumers can buy now and pay later, so they can get what they need today. Klarna’s offering to consumers and retailers includes payments, social shopping and personal finances. Over 250,000 retail partners including Macys, H&M, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, ASOS, Peloton, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and AliExpress, have enabled Klarna’s innovative shopping experience online and in-store. Klarna is ranked number five on the 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, and is one of the most highly valued private fintechs globally with a valuation of $31 billion. Klarna was founded in 2005, has over 4,000 employees and is active in over 17 countries. Klarna has been backed by Sequoia Capital since 2010 and more recently, Dragoneer, Bestseller Group, Permira, Visa, Atomico, Ant Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Silver Lake, HMI Capital, TCV, Northzone, GIC - Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund - and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock amongst others. For more information, visit klarna.com.