More than three quarters of influencer ads on Instagram are hiding the sponsored post disclosure in the post according to research by affiliate network Awin.
The study examined the top 100 posts for disclosure hashtags to find out if the hashtag was visible in the post or had to be expanded to be viewed.
The most common disclosure hashtags were #ad with 12.8 million posts, followed by #sponsored at 3.3 million posts, #advertisement and #gifted at 1.8 million each and #affiliate with 744k posts.
Advertising Standards Authority rules state that ads and sponsored posts by influencers and brands must be clearly labelled as such.
Around 76% of the analysed posts were hiding their disclosure notifications.
59% of influencer posts hid them in the middle of a post, while 24% put them at the end and only 5% moved them to the beginning of a post.
Some 12% were even hiding them in the comments.
While #gifted was the least hidden term, #affiliate was the most hidden.
“Disclosure is a really important part of being an influencer, not just because of the legal ramifications but also to have complete transparency with your followers,” said Kevin Edwards, Global Strategy Director at Awin. “It was surprising to find that so many influencers were ‘hiding’ the disclosure of their advertisements from followers, and something we hope to combat this year.”
The research also looked at how many Instagram influencer ads mentioned a paid partnership with a brand. Only 13% of analysed posts included the feature.