Distinguishable advertising

Audiences should be able to easily recognise advertising content. Ads should never be disguised as news, independent reviews, private blogs or user-generated content.

Section 2.7 of the AANA Code of Ethics states:

2.7 Advertising shall be clearly distinguishable as such.

This applies to all forms of advertising but is particularly relevant to social media where advertising often appears alongside organic user-generated content.

For more detail and guidance on distinguishable advertising read the AANA Code of Ethics Practice Note: Clearly Distinguishable Advertising. If you are unsure of what counts as advertising, visit our ‘What is advertising’ page.

Examples of previous decisions

The Community Panel has found a breach of Section 2.7 (Distinguishable Advertising) of the AANA Code of Ethics in the following cases:

The Community Panel has also found some ads not to breach of Section 2.7 (Distinguishable Advertising) of the AANA Code of Ethics:

  • Where a product or brand is clearly shown as sponsoring a television show or segment.
    • Carlton and United Breweries – 0185-21
  • Even if an ad is not initially clearly advertising, if the brand or relationship is then clearly disclosed it will be seen to be clearly distinguishable.
  • Clear disclosure of a commercial arrangement between an advertiser and an influencer in a social media post.
  • Social media posts where an advertiser or product is not clearly identified, the audience’s attention isn’t draw to the product or advertiser, and there is no clear indication that the advertiser has any involvement with, or control over the post.
  • A social media post that features elements which clearly identify it as an ad such as multiple references to the brand, indications of where the product can be purchased and/or a discount code. 




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