Since May 1st 2014 the advertising code Social Media (RSM) is included in the Dutch Advertising Code and valid for all companies in the Netherlands who use social media to promote their product and/or services. The Stichting Reclame Code (SRC) deals with the self-regulation system of advertising in The Netherlands. The SCR promotes responsible advertising to guarantee trustworthy and credible advertisement. Self-regulation means that the Dutch Consumer Association (CB) and the advertising industry (advertisers, agencies and the media) together formulate the rules with which advertising must comply. Advertising means every public and/or systematic direct or indirect recommending products and/or services by an advertiser. This can be fully or partially for the purpose of their own brand or with help from third parties. Advertising means requesting services.
When an advertiser promises anyone benefits for sharing the advertisement on social media and this effects the credibility of the expression, the relationship between the advertiser and the costumer needs to be clear. This means that if, for example, a celebrity receives money for reviewing a new product, this needs to be mentioned. Next to that advertisers can’t edit and modify comments and expressions on social media to create a misleading image of their brand.
Because the code is included in the Dutch Advertising Code this means that complains about social media campaigns can be submitted at the Advertising Code Commission. They will take care of the complain with potential fines as a result of breaking the rules.
When you’re advertising you’re expected to follow the rules of the Dutch Advertising Code. To help you with this, we lined up some do’s and don’ts.
DO: Advertising on social media needs to be clear and recognisable.
Make sure that advertisement on social media that’s stimulated by an advertiser by payment or a sponsorship is recognisable.
When an advertiser promises someone any change of winning something, or to get any benefits somewhere and this effects the credibility of the advertisement in question, this needs to be made known.
Never edit messages or advertisements on social media in any way so that costumers can be misled.
DO: When an influencers receives a compensation in Money or natura, this needs to be pointed out. (By for example a video, hashtag, or a caption)
Make sure the relationship between the influencer and a brand is clear and recognisable when posts on social media are being changed, selected or compared by adding #ad or #spon
DON’T: filter comments as an advertiser on your own website so that the view on a product or service is being influenced and the viewers are being misled. (Unless you make this clear)
DO: Make sure that if customers share your content, they also follow the rules of the Code. For example, tell them that if they have a chance of winning something by posting your content, they have to add a text like; like&win.
DON’T: astrosurfing. Advertising in bulk on social media by using non-existing identities.
DO: Social media posts that are posted without (a chance) of any benefits by an advertiser, do not belong to the rules of the Code.
DON’T: stimulate children under the age of 13 to advertise on social media.