Social media apps. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: If you are a social media influencer or run a business with social media presence, it is important to note that if you do use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok to put up content that has been paid for by another organisation, it is important to ensure you clearly mention that your post is an advertisement.

This is as per the National Media Council’s (NMC) advertising guide which was issued in 2018, mentioning special conditions that need to be met for electronic advertisements on social media.

Getting the necessary licence

The first thing to check is whether you need to apply for a licence to advertise on social media. If you are an influencer, you can apply for an influencer licence with NMC. Read our detailed guide on how you can do so, here.

Guide for ads on social media

If you are advertising on social media, these are the special conditions that need to be met, according to the guidelines:

• The advertisement must be identified on social media clearly.

• The advertisement must appear distinctly and separately from media or written material or any other material.

• Clear borders should be placed between the advertisement and other content and time intervals should be placed in the event of a broadcast, for example, on the ad article:

“advertisement Material", "Advertisement" and other indicative terms.

• Disclosure must be made clearly in case there is any material or in-kind payment paid by the issuing authority for publications or articles published on social media, websites or blogs.

• A clear language should be used that leaves no ambiguity regarding the identity of the advertisement and being paid through:

− Using hashtag “#ad” or “#paid_ad” phrase clearly that is not accompanied by many hashtags in such a way that they are hard to see.

− The use of the words "thank you for ... the advertiser" or "in cooperation with ..." is not sufficient to disclose whether the advertisement is paid or not.

− A clear and legible font should be used.

− Avoid the very small font that is unreadable or that has a color that is similar to the background color as it is hard to read.

− Disclosure should be put in a conspicuous place for readers.

− In general, disclosure should be made at the beginning of the content or description.

− Avoid placing disclosure in a place that requires users to move to another page or content (e.g., the disclosure may not be placed under a "Read More" link).

− If the content is in the form of video, it must be stated verbally through the video (in addition to writing it in description of the video)

− In case the advertisement is made by using stories or videos that are published on the account, the disclosure should be published in the picture, first or second or at the beginning of the broadcasting if any, which applies to all social media account.