If you’ve been spending any time in or around influencer marketing conversations as you’ve started growing your business and developing that killer marketing plan, you maaaay have come across AIMCO (Australian Influencer Marketing Council). If you haven’t, it’s time you get familiar and get in on the code they’ve recently dropped. If you’re going to work with influencers, you need to make sure you’re doing it the right way. And the legal way. So what is AIMCO and what’s their influencer marketing code? Here’s the lowdown.
What is AIMCO?
First things first, AIMCO was founded in 2019, and is “an alliance of Australian companies engaged in influencer marketing working together to elevate best practice in order to address industry trust and transparency issues.” With influencer marketing absolutely booming in the current business marketing climate, AIMCO aims (hehe) to provide guidance and knowledge to those working in the influencer marketing sector. Just this month (1 July to be precise) they launched the Australian Influencer Marketing Code of Practice (the Code).
What does the Code do?
Essentially, it was developed to set out a framework to guide brands and the influencers they work with and ensure transparency and confidence in consumers. The code:
- Offers guidance to businesses that engage in influencer marketing.
- Gives clarity on transparency for the vetting process of an influencer.
- Offers brand safety considerations.
- Addresses advertising disclosure requirements under Australian Consumer Law
- Works to ensure proper briefs/contracts.
- Deals with content rights/IP in contracts
- Make sure there is transparency in metrics and reporting.
End of day there is good practice (still stands) but there’s also a new code. It's not a new law, but AIMCO have kindly provided some clarification.
Who does the Code apply to?
The Code applies to anyone working in the influencer marketing space in Australia! This includes:
- Talent representatives and managers
- Media and PR agencies
- Advertisers engaging industry for influencer marketing
- Industry marketplaces that help promote influencers
- Anyone else working in the influencer marketing community!
- The intention of the Code is “to provide best practice guidance to the industry, introduce greater consistency around language and behaviours and guide advertisers and marketers on best practice when engaging in influencer marketing.”
Basically, every individual and business in the space needs to be clear on what is expected from any party getting into a business relationship for the purpose of influencer marketing. The Code offers consistency and clarity so no party is able to work in a grey area. Everyone in the marketing space functions with the same rules, guidelines, and regulations in place.
Contracts are our jam!
Though there are many facets to the AIMCO code, one of the big ones we deal with regularly are contracts for businesses and influencers.
When we’re talking contracts, there are some important points you want your influencer contract to cover. AIMCO recommends the following elements are included in your contract with an influencer:
Who owns the content when the contract is complete? Who has the right to modify and/or reuse the content? Timeframes and specific usages (like if the content is being used only in Australia or globally).
AIMCO recommends due diligence when it comes to vetting an influencer, while always disclosing to the influencer what it is you’ve learned or discovered, and how it relates to your work together. Have you found any illicit content they’ve shared? You want your brand to be safe in the hands of your influencer. Make it clear in your contract that the relationship can be terminated should any marketing of the influencer have the potential to impact your brand in a negative light.
This touches on who is responsible (the influencer, client, contractor etc.) in terms of compliance and making sure all parties adhere to laws/any industry codes (working with children, dealing with alcohol etc.).
Be clear in your contracts about payments. Is there a flat fee? Is there an additional payment for usage extended beyond any original contract dates? Is there GST? Super? Make sure all remuneration considerations have been addressed so you don’t end up in a financial battle with your influencer!
Beyond these, AIMCO suggests taking a look at a few other points of content for your influencer marketing contract. Over at Foundd, we have a solid opinion about what else needs to be addressed to keep yourself legally legit and getting that brand attention in an awesome way:
- Work out your Standard Agreement terms
- Set up your Campaign timelines
- Agree upon the deliverables
- Get clear on the approval process and when you need to check in with each other, where you need to sign off and so on.
- Don’t forget to address confidentiality and exclusivity within your Agreement
- What are your payment terms? Is it 50% up front? When is full payment due?
- Who owns the content when the Campaign is complete?
Hit us up to talk contracts; we have a template for that. Big surprise. ;) We also have a great Guide for Hiring an Influencers to make sure you’re ticking all of the right boxes before you get into what we consider a pretty darn ‘serious’ relationship! This can make or break your brand. This contract brings you together as a partnership for your brand development. Expectations should be clear and fair on both sides, so discussing all terms, policies, rights, and obligations are imperative. You want this to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship, right!? So stay legal, stay clear, be honest, and know the steps you need to take and the laws that must be followed for a super successful influencer marketing campaign!
For more information about AIMCO and the new code they’ve put in place, you can read the entire AIMCO Code of Practice here. If influencer marketing is in your future (or in your present!), it’s time to do your homework. If you need a hand, you know where to find us. Deconstructing legals like this makes us so haapppyyy!!!
- When should I declare? Good practise would be every time
- If you get paid you need to declare (includes gifts, free products)
- What hashtags? At a basic level #sponsored #ad and don’t sneak it in amongst other hashtags - be upfront and transparent.
- You can use other hashtags but you cannot replace #ad with others it must be in addition to e.g. #ad plus #collab
- Always be honest and transparent even when you receive a gift - best practice would be to use hashtags like #freegift
- It’s important not to be misleading or deceptive, honesty and transparency is the best policy so if in doubt use the right hashtags.
Other useful links:
***Disclaimer. Please read!!***
This article is for general information purposes only and should be used solely as general guidance. It does not and is not intended to represent legal advice or other professional advice.