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Klarna launches Influencer Council to develop guidance for influencers advertising online

Tom Shearsmith
02 March 2021

Buy Now, Pay Later service Klarna has launched its own Influencer Council, with the goal of developing best practice guidance for influencers and brands advertising online and to help shape responsible marketing practices for the financial services sector.

The purpose of the Influencer Council is to deliver further clarity for consumers, brands and influencers regarding what is acceptable when advertising financial products.

The Council will be chaired by presenter and social media expert, Christian Howes. Other panel members include retailer ​PrettyLittleThing​; ​Rupa Shah​, Founder & Director of Hashtag Ad Consulting; ​Joel Gladwin​, Head of Policy at Coadec; Lian Hirst​, Founder of PR & Digital agency TRACE Publicity and ​AJ Coyne, ​Head of Marketing at Klarna.

The constantly evolving nature and popularity of different online platforms means that existing Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) guidelines are increasingly open to interpretation. As a result, influencers, brands and platforms can unwittingly fall foul of the regulations.

As part of the Council, Klarna commissioned nationwide research from Censuswide to understand consumer attitudes on money management, and how consumers engage with financial guidance from influencers.

The research revealed that just under a third (30%) of consumers who have seen an influencer or a celebrity giving financial guidance have acted upon it, rising to 53% when Gen-Z were asked.

However, only a quarter (27%) of the UK say that they understand the purpose of #ad, #affiliate and/or #gifted references on influencers’ posts. Of those who said they understood the purpose of the captions on an influencer’s post, nearly half (46%) didn’t know that it meant an influencer had been paid by a company to promote a product or a service.

On the launch, Christian Howes, Chair of the Influencer Council ​said​: “I am delighted to be appointed Chair of Klarna’s Influencer Council. Transparency and consumer protection are the foremost priorities for all our Council members and with such a diverse panel, I’m confident that through this Council, we will be able to provide better, clearer and actionable guidance for everyone to use across all social media platforms.”

AJ Coyne, Head of UK Marketing at Klarna ​added​: ​“As more Brits turn to influencers for financial guidance, it’s never been more important to drive true clarity on advertising standards so that consumers fully understand how to manage their money.

“Following the ASA’s ruling in December on four social media posts we commissioned, we reflected on our practices. This is why we set out on a mission to create an Influencer Council to better understand how guidelines are implemented and to develop proposals so all parties can act correctly and responsibly.”

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