The Extension of the Digital Remit of the ASAI: What It Means for Bloggers
December 3, 2012 in Events
The following is a guest post from Caítríona Redmond of the Wholesome Ireland blog.
Who would have thought that being a food blogger could be so complicated?
Whenever a group of bloggers meet up, one of the most hotly debated topics is ethics. The majority of Irish food bloggers are amateurs, with a scattering of those who have received journalism training. This makes for some interesting discussions, particularly as journalists are very aware of the ethics that govern their day jobs.
For Irish food blogs, up until now there has been little requirement for regulation of personal blogs. Starting in January, there will be a slight change to the digital remit of the ASAI, which (as we understand it) will now take into account direct and indirect advertising on blogs and other social media (these include but are not limited to Twitter and Facebook).
So rather than confusing you with the jargon that is the latest release from the ASAI (you can read it here), Caítríona has put together a simple Q&A table below and what we should be doing under the new regulations.
The table above tries to cover the circumstances under which you would endorse a product on your blog, but how do you handle that on Facebook and Twitter?
The short answer is that we’re not sure yet. Obviously, if a company pays you to endorse them on Twitter or Facebook, then you should include the word “sponsored” in your status update. When it comes to 140 characters, though, it’s going to be extremely hard to disclose everything all at once. Should you include the word “sponsored” where you’re promoting a sponsored blog post? Your opinions are always welcome!
For the majority of Irish food bloggers, this isn’t going to make the slightest bit of difference. On reading through a selection of the many (!) blogs on the roll in the past number of weeks, most are already meeting these requirements. For those who don’t comply, there may be sanctions but these are not immediately clear from reading the information on the ASAI website.
However, is it now time that we adopt a voluntary code of conduct? We’re not a community of liggers or people who are interested in what they can get for free. We are a vibrant group of people who are passionate about food, particularly Irish food. Is it not a good idea that we should be recognised as such? We have a very important message to get out there, nationally and internationally, and having a code of conduct would improve our credibility, would it not?