PING Ethics (Q&A)
PING Ethics is an ethic code launched at the PING Helsinki event in May 2016 for promoting the transparency and general fairness of content marketing. The code is compiled by content providers, business partners and different organisations and it aims at raising conversation about the general rules and guidelines of content marketing.
The aim of the code is to help companies and content providers to produce high-quality, interesting commercial content and, at the same time, appreciate the confidential relationship between the parties. The end-result is an open, trusting and profitable cooperation that benefits both the content providers and businesses, not forgetting the audience.
The field of content marketing is developing fast and finding its suitable procedures. Mistakes are made in this early stage and the industry has many operators that as private persons are not bound by any professionally binding regulations.
The PING Helsinki event aims at developing the field of content marketing in Finland by creating new business and by developing the rules of the industry. PING Helsinki gathers the industry under one roof and provides a forum for open discussion about the changes in the industry and its rules. The PING Ethics code is based on the experiences gathered from the event.
Influencer marketing is content marketing in which a company and an influencer make an agreement that obligates the influencer to act in a way that endorses the company’s commercial purposes. For PING Helsinki influence marketing means goal-oriented commercial cooperation between a content provider and a company or an organisation.
Influencer marketing can be, for example:
- Producing content and publishing it in an influencer’s channel.
- Content produced by an influencer for a company’s channel.
- Using an influencer as an ambassador for a certain brand.
- Earned visibility in an influencer´s channel.
- Product or service development in cooperation with influencers.
It is crucial to recognise the most important influencers for a company and its products or services, and to plan how to address their followers. In order to succeed, influence marketing has to be a part of the company’s communication strategy and it needs to support the goals the business.
In the PING Ethics code an influencer is a blogger, YouTuber, an instagrammer, artist, athlete or any other person who has a substantial amount of followers in channels relevant for a company. An influencer is also willing to use his/her channels for commercial purposes. An influencer also publishes material and is responsible for the content published in his/her channels.
Signing the code is easy, however, abiding by it demands long-term commitment and can be challenging at times. PING Helsinki offers expertise in the field of influence marketing and how to plan and execute it successfully. You are also welcome to join our discussions on the PING Helsinki Facebook group.
There are many laws and guidelines that stipulate marketing and content producing on different social media channels. Getting to know all these is the duty of all content providers and companies involved in influence marketing.
The PING Ethics code does not create new rules and guidelines but gathers all in one document. The aim is to prevent any further regulations with the help of self-regulation.
Here is a list of some useful guidelines:
- Copyright law, http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/1961/19610404
- Consumer Protection Act, http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/1978/19780038
- Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice: (ICC) http://www.icc.fi/yritysvastuuohjeet/
- Ethical guidelines for communication (VEN), http://www.viesti.fi/kehity-ammattilaisena/viestinnan-eettiset-ohjeet/
- Guide for blog-cooperation (IAB), http://www.iab.fi/media/pdf-tiedostot/verkkomainonnan-abc/blogiyhteistyon-opas-iab-finland.pdf
- Manual for native advertising (IAB), http://www.iab.fi/digimainonnan-abc/julkaisut-ja-oppaat/natiivimainonnan-opas.html
- Guide for cooperation on YouTube
- Guidelines by the Consumer Ombudsman, especially: Recognisability of advertising in blogs, http://www.kkv.fi/ratkaisut-ja-julkaisut/julkaisut/kuluttaja-asiamiehen-linjaukset/aihekohtaiset/mainonnan-tunnistettavuus-blogeissa/
- Guidelines by the Tax Administration, especially: compensations from blogs in taxation: https://www.vero.fi/fi-FI/Syventavat_veroohjeet/Verohallinnon_kannanottoja/Henkiloverotus_ja_ennakkoperinta/Blogikirjoituksista_saatujen_korvausten_(32554)
- Journalistic guidelines (JSN), http://www.jsn.fi/journalistin_ohjeet/
- Ethic guidelines by the Finnish Association of Marketing, Technology and Creativity (MTL) http://mtl.fi/fi/mtl/mtl-ryn-saannot/eettiset-saannot
- Finland Chamber of Commerce, The Council of Ethics in Advertising, statement concerning the recognisability of advertising in blogs http://kauppakamari.fi/statement-archive/men-12017-markkinoinnin-tunnistettavuus-blogi/
- The International Chamber of Commerce guidelines for marketing http://www.codescentre.com
Also a blog about blog ethics is a good source: http://www.blogietiikka.fi (in Finnish)
The PING Ethics code is compiled by a host of companies and organisations: IAB, MARK, MTL, Viesti ry and tens of other PING Helsinki partners.
Also a host of PING Helsinki content providers took part in the process including Finland’s most followed bloggers, instagrammers and YouTubers that all have first-hand experience of commercial cooperation.
Different organisations in the field are seeing to it that the code is honoured. The list includes the Finnish Association of Marketing, Technology and Creativity (MTL), the Finnish Association of Communication Professionals (Procom), the Union of Communication professionals (Viesti ry), and the Union of Journalists in Finland (Suomen Journalistiliitto). These organisations also give statements about individual cases. The PING Ethics code is updated by PING Helsinki, an expert of influence marketing. The code is also being developed as the industry develops. If changes are needed, please contact Aku Varamäki (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information, please contact:
Founder, Head of Inspiration
+358 50 376 0824