The ASA has published an Influencer Monitoring report here, showing that most influencers are still not properly identifying their content as advertising.

In September last year, the regulator undertook a three week monitoring exercise to review the Instagram accounts of 122 UK-based influencers. In short, it found that the majority of posts were still non-compliant.

The CAP Code requires marketing communications to be obviously identifiable as such, and the ASA, CAP and the CMA have issued several sets of guidance on what that means in the context of influencers. 

Nonetheless, practices such as burying tags in a sea of text, failing to tag consecutive Stories, and using difficult to recognise tags like 'aff' (for affiliate) are still commonplace.

The ASA has written to the influencers in question, as well as a number of brands, to put them on notice that it will take action if these issues persist.

The ASA's report is accompanied by a reminder of the steps it can take to enforce the CAP Code. Whilst it does not have the power to directly issue fines or pursue legal action, it has various other tools at its disposal - such as proactively investigating ads (rather than waiting for a complaint to be made about them), and 'naming and shaming' non-compliant advertisers, both on its website and in targeted paid search ads. 

In cases of serious or repeated non-compliance, the ASA's legal backstop, Trading Standards, can pursue civil or criminal proceedings where consumer protection law has been breached or an offence committed. The ASA can also work alongside the CMA to take joint enforcement action.