Changing tack: the new TGA advertising code

Eight months after the publication of the new TGA code, we share our learnings on the three key strategies to creating a successful influencer marketing campaign.

Changes to the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) advertising code in January 2022 threw brands – and influencers – into a spin. Prior to the code change, TGA-listed health and wellbeing brands engaged parenting, fitness and lifestyle influencers to share paid testimonials to promote their products. These testimonials would appear on the influencer’s social platforms, and were often amplified across digital, social and traditional media by the brands who engaged them.

The new code expressly forbids influencers from speaking about personal experiences when paid or incentivised to do so. However, with the right approach, health and wellbeing brands can continue to work with influencers to share and promote their products with target audiences.

IMPACT has counselled clients on how to develop a strategy for influencers to develop and share authentic, compelling content while also adhering to the guidelines.

Below are the three key take-aways from IMPACT’s advice to clients:

Authentic voices with real engagement
When working with influencers, take quality over quantity every time. Establishing a strict criteria enables you to select influencers that will ensure brand fit, engagement and diversity.

Consider the following:

  • Personality: Does the online persona match the feel of your campaign, and your target audience?
  • Engagement: Is there a strong, consistency number of likes, comments and shares across both sponsored and organic posts?
  • Authenticity: Is there a balance of ‘every day’ content to balance paid posts? How many brands do they work for? Can they guarantee exclusivity for your category?
  • Authority signals: Do followers comment positively on advice and recommendations? Is there a strong background of content that establishes their role as a trusted advisor?

Get across the guidelines – and get it in writing
Once influencers have been engaged, make sure they are thoroughly across TGA rules and requirements. This means sharing detailed guidelines in a brief, including information regarding transparency of paid partnerships and links to the AANA Code of Ethics regarding marketing and advertising.

It’s also wise to equip social media partners with pre-emptive questions and answers so they are able to appropriately address comments to their posts about your products. This is particularly important as responses on paid partnership posts must not include a testimonial.

Be sure to include these brief materials in your contract of engagement with all influencers – and get it signed. This way, both parties are keenly aware of their obligations, and will diligently fulfil their responsibilities.

Let the science speak for itself
When developing content for influencers to share, rely on TGA-approved claims rather than opinion. If, like the brands we work with, you are part of a reputable health company that rigorously tests its products, you can create and share key messages which are scientifically proven.
These messages, pre-approved by legal regulation, can then be shared with influencers. When posted from the social media platform of a trusted personality, content comes across as both genuine and engaging.

Is your brand struggling to cut-through with influencer marketing? Speak to the IMPACT team to book an influencer campaign strategy session.

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