5 Things About Sponsored Instagram Content We Learnt After Talking to the ASA


We are very proud and grateful that over the last 13 years we have worked hard to create and run two creative businesses; our own label firstly and now our blog. As the Blog and Instagram has grown we have been lucky enough to work with brands that pay us or gift us in return for content. This can work in many different ways with brands and believe us when we say no collaboration is ever the same so we thank our lucky stars that we have prior business experience. BUT something we’ve never had to deal with is Advertising Standards and their rules & regulations.





BELLE & BUNTY INSTAGRAM ASA SPONSORED CONTENT RULES ADVERTSBELLE & BUNTY INSTAGRAM ASA SPONSORED CONTENT RULES ADVERTSAlthough we’ve been blogging for a couple of years now, we actually fell into it by accident and feel really excited to be part of the UK digital influencer crowd that keeps growing and evolving but as with everything fun and exciting it’s not plain sailing and we are constantly learning. Our Instagram started as a fun hobby and a way for us to navigate trends, experiment with clothes and curate a B&B life featuring what we love. Although very different from the hobby of yesteryear, our Blog and Instagram account still remain just as personal. We always get to select product that we shoot, we turn down brands that aren’t right for us and we will never recommend a product that we haven’t road tested ourselves. However, the Instagram oceans can sometimes feel like unchartered waters with social media, advertising and Instagram itself constantly changing the current. As a result we recently received a call from the Advertising Standards Authority after an “anonymous caller” reported a couple of our posts for not clearly stating whether they had been paid for or sponsored by the brands we were showcasing {we had used the #ad so all was ok!} After the initial shock of the call and if we’re honest “slight annoyance” that someone had ‘dobbed’ us in we actually got chatting to the ASA (who we now have on speed dial), clarified the situation and indeed found a whole heap of useful information. BELLE & BUNTY INSTAGRAM ASA SPONSORED CONTENT RULES ADVERTS BELLE & BUNTY INSTAGRAM ASA SPONSORED CONTENT RULES ADVERTS

So, with such grey areas surrounding insta’s #ad #spon #transparency and omg confusing #HASHTAGOVERLOAD…… here’s what we learnt.

1: If there is an agreement between you and a brand that you will provide content in return for money, gifts or services this is classed as an advert.

2: If the company has any say in the content {ie. wishes to approve the image and caption} then you should be using #ad or AD. If you agree to post content in return for any of the above but the company has no control or input before you post then this is #spon, #sponsored or #sp. This is for your main feed and also Instagram Stories.

3: You should be making it clear from the very start that you are posting sponsored content so the disclaimer should go at the beginning of your content rather than the end. If you have the “paid partnership” option to add to your posts {we don’t have the update yet so aren’t able to use this function atm} then you can also add the #ad or #spon so it’s really clear that your content is sponsored.

4: If you add an Affiliate link in Instagram Stories then you must disclose #affiliate and also #ad as the ASA class it as advertising as money is exchanging hands. Those of you that don’t know, many bloggers use affiliates when linking to product and would then get a small percentage of the sale if you were to buy something after using the link.

5: There is no legal requirements to disclose #gifting although if you are being transparent you may like to inform you’re followers if you think they would like to know!


These are the ASA’s recommendations for best practice and what we will be sticking to from here on in. In fact you may have noticed us following the above already on our Instagram account. We think that knowledge is power and with sponsored content on Instagram being such a grey area and not all influencers following the same guidelines of disclosure we are hoping that a working standard surfaces so that everyone’s using the same format.

As with everything we are doing when it comes to blogging {and life, haha!} we are learning on the job so we do apologise if we make any mistake. We are good girls at heart honest!

If anyone has any thoughts on any of the above then we’d love to hear! Please comment below. 


Alice wears top by River Island {similar here}, jeans by Rouje, shoes by Unisa, bag by Chloé {similar here}

Hannah wears top by Dorothy Perkins {similar here}, jeans by & Other Stories, shoes by asos, basket from Portugal, necklaces by Muru





If this is of interest to you as an influencer OR a brand you can always contact the ASA directly if you have any questions and if you are interested to read more then check out One Roof Social who have great articles on this and similar subjects!

As always, see you over on The ‘Gram! You can follow us here


Photos by Victoria Metaxas






2 comments so far.

2 responses to “5 Things About Sponsored Instagram Content We Learnt After Talking to the ASA”

  1. Nice and Perfect looking outfit..

  2. Thank you so much! x