Having worked and researched in the area of children and youth and digital media - I have realized how big of an impact especially influencers and influencer marketing have on trends and general opinion-making. Thus, I believe that influencers (and the involved companies) hold a great responsibility and accountability when communicating to a larger audience. Furthermore, I'm a great believer of honesty and transparency, but have at times found myself confused by what and how to do a proper disclosure when I haven't bought a product that I'm featuring, or if I somehow profit from the posts, and even when I feature photography work not related to influence work. Why I have decided to write this code of conduct in order to be transparent and eliminate confusion.
A law has been made in Denmark (2017) stating that the terms advertisement or sponsored (danish: reklame eller annonce og sponsoreret) must be stated in the beginning of a post when a third party is involved.
* Advertisement must be used when a product is received with or without agreement and a post is made without payment.
* Sponsored must be used when a post is made with payment.
My approach earlier
As a conscious choice I have not made a sponsored post till this date - implying I've said no to jobs where I receive payment in return for a post of specific content. I have always wanted to show the things I like for the sake of sharing recommendations/experiences with no other objective than exactly that. But I have received tons of press samples - things that I have shown and marked as #gifted. But I haven't shown or reviewed anywhere near everything that has been sent - only the products that I have personally used and think are worth showing or writing about. I always share my honest opinion and I've been having a hard time trying to convey that message if money was involved, or if people would get the feeling that my words are sponsored.
My approach in the future
I am in most ways pro this new legislation due to the above mentioned accountability and transparency. But I also find that it is quite delusive in some ways. Inter alia I feel that the terms sponsored and advertisement are very similar in implication. But in reality there is a big difference between receiving a big payment and receiving freebies such as a pair of shoes, which is a difference I don't think the legislation and the terms reflect.
Due to this fact I have chosen to include sponsored posts in my future work as it simply does not make any sense for me not to do so anymore due to the poor/unclear distinction. This means there will be a lot of new opportunities to create content and also ethics to consider in this regard. But my approach to sponsored content will always be the same, I ask myself one question "Would I tell my family or friends about this product?". Whether the product is a €100 lip balm or a €10 shirt from H&M, if it rocked my world, I want it to rock yours too. With this disclosure I feel I have done my best to publicly reflect upon this subject and now I can't wait for this new chapter to begin!
These are sent to me by either the brand, their PR company or gifted at an event. I receive different products everything from clothes, beauty products, shoes to tech products etc. At this point in my 'influencer life', I have more than enough products to last me for a lifetime. And I see absolutely no reasons to dishonestly promote things I don't like as hypothetically I would just keep receiving these things. While getting free products is a luxury and cuts down on the cost of buying e.g. new shoes every once in a while I don't believe it influences my opinion all that much considering the aforementioned.
(these posts are marked as #advertisement, #ad or #gift)
This is when I'm paid to write a post or post a picture of specific content. Which is the type of content I have just decided to include in my work (this is explained in the section My approach in the future). I'm lucky to be in a position where I don't rely on influence work for my income, and I treasure my readers, followers and community more than the extra cash I can make from taking in all job offers. This makes me very selective with my paid collaborations and that I only do sponsored posts with brands I really love or identify with.
(these posts are marked as #sponsored)
Not sponsored photography and work related posts
The fact that I primarily work as a photographer and often showcase my work (separated from SoMe) can be confusing due to the combination of my followings, the type of brands that I work with and the blurred lines of the marketing legislation. The legislation does not instruct to mark work like mine as anything specific. Despite the fact that I will take up sponsored work in the future, the majority of my income comes from work that is separated from the SoMe sphere. It is also here my greatest passion of photography lies, rather than solely posting as an influencer. Why I have chosen to clearly state when I showcase my work on my platforms, as I've experienced too often that people are confused about if I simply forgot to mark a sponsored post, when in reality it is client work.
(Showcased work is marked as #work, #mywork or together with #notsponsored)
My platforms (instagram, this site etc) is personal and written and edited by me. The views and opinions are purely mine. This site does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
This policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on 30 of September 2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly by email.