By Niklas Bastholm Hansen
Updated Mar. 8th 2021
#Creator, #GettingStarted, #Legal

Avoid hidden advertisements

Rules on hidden advertisements have emerged with the rising significance of social media influencer marketing. Today, most countries have rules against what is deemed “hidden advertisement”. This is usually defined as any advertisement where it is not made absolutely clear that the recommendation is created with a commercial interest in mind. In this post we go through our recommendations on how to navigate these rules and how to stay on the safe side. Our general advice is that nobody cares if a recommendation is an advertisement. If your followers trust you, they won’t care if you have a commercial interest.

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None of your followers care if your recommendations are advertisements
None of your followers care if your recommendations are advertisements
Niklas Bastholm Hansen
Niklas Bastholm Hansen

Your followers follow you because they trust you, so don’t worry about showing your commercial interest. They know that your job is to find great products and services and that it is perfectly natural that you earn a living doing so. Also, they are often getting a discount by booking or buying through your recommendations so everyone wins. So don’t worry about being open about your commercial interest, in fact you should embrace it and always err on the side of sharing more information about your intentions behind a recommendation, and never hide your intentions.

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Be authentic and share all your reasons for making the recommendation
Be authentic and share all your reasons for making the recommendation
Niklas Bastholm Hansen
Niklas Bastholm Hansen

Our list of recommendations

We recommend that you follow the below list to ensure that you follow the law in your country, and properly inform your followers of your commercial interests. However, do make sure to consult a local advisor when in doubt.

Mark your recommendations when there is a commercial interest

We always display a tag prominently in the top left corner of the recommendation cards and the recommendation itself, when commission is earned through HelloEcho. In this way we ensure everyone is informed and that the law is followed. However, if you link to your recommendation on HelloEcho from your social media posts, you should add a tag to those posts as well.

Even when there is no commission, a tag could be required!

We allow you to customize the text to your local language, even if the recommendation earns no commission, if you have any other commercial interest in showing the recommendation. We will always display the tag, when commission is earned through HelloEcho, but you can decide on the wording of the tag and you can decide whether or not to display the tag even though there is no commission earned. We have added this option for you so you can make it clear that the recommendation is an advertisement in case you have arrangements with the business outside of HelloEcho. In some countries like Denmark, you could even be required to add the tag even if there is no formal relationship with the business you recommend, for instance if the business had a clear commercial interest in providing you with a discount to try out their services before your recommendation was made. The rules are getting stronger and therefore we simply suggest adding as much information about the nature of your relationship in your recommendation and also err on the side of sharing more information rather than less.


Customize the tag language to your body of followers

We allow you to customize the text of the tag to your local language. An English word works well if you have a broadly international following or in Danish “Reklame”, German “Werbung” or in Swedish “Annons”. Choose a word that works best for your body of followers.

Show details in your recommendation text

You should show the details of your relationship in your recommendation, or at least display if there is no direct relationship between you and the business you recommend but you received a discount to visit the place before you made the recommendation. Again, the general rule is to err on the side of sharing more information about your relationship with the business and your interests.

The business advertised should be mentioned

It is a good idea to mention the business you are advertising for or promoting with your recommendation. HelloEcho obviously shows this indirectly in your recommendation but it is always a good idea to make it clear in your recommendation text. We suggest you add a text like the following in your recommendation: “I visited XYZ restaurant before making the recommendation to check out the place myself before deciding if I wanted to recommend it. After visiting the place I am excited to work with them in a paid promotional partnership where you also benefit with a discount when you book through our recommendation.”

Also show tag when you advertize your own products or services

The laws in most countries do not distinguish between whether or not the products are your own, but whether or not the intent of the recommendation is commercial or not. So, always display a tag when you make a recommendation, if you have a commercial interest.

Recommendations towards children

Children are in all countries considered a protected class that raises the requirements for you to mark your recommendations in case of a commercial interest. If your recommendations are of products or services with children as a target audience we suggest you take extreme caution, and seek legal advice to ensure you are marking your recommendations correctly.

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