‘Til the tick tock, you don’t stop…creating compliant ads on TikTok!

TikTok has been quickly growing in popularity since its launch to the UK in 2018. Unsurprising given that their mission is ‘to inspire creativity and bring joy.’ Its clever algorithms help show you the stuff you like, and it offers a variety of creative and innovative ways to advertise – but how do the advertisers who use it stay within the rules?

Here are some key principles to bear in mind when advertising on TikTok.

When is a TikTok not a TikTok? When it’s an ad

If you’re advertising on TikTok, you need to make sure that users know it’s an ad. TikToks that either are or contain influencer or affiliate marketing, are very likely to need an additional label to distinguish them. 

The ASA have upheld against a number of TikTok posts for not making their commercial intent sufficiently clear, e.g. see here and here. For more detailed guidance on the principles see the ‘Influencers’ guide to making clear that ads are ads’ and our previous article here

Make sure you capture the right audience

Targeting is important, particularly for certain types of content and for advertising of certain products. The ASA’s 100 Children Report found that at least 11% of the children monitored had set up social media accounts which falsely suggested they were over the age of 18, highlighting the importance of robust targeting on such platforms.

The ASA will always expect you to use all the tools available to target appropriately on any platform and ensure that you have taken all reasonable steps to avoid your ads being seen by someone who (for example) due to their age, shouldn’t.

When it comes to TikTok, there are many products that are simply not permitted to be advertised on their platform and as such they do not offer support or dedicated tools to accommodate or target such ads. Needless to say, advertising products subject to targeting and placement restrictions in a media that explicitly does not permit or cater for them is likely to be considered irresponsible

All the rules apply

Although content on TikTok can often be informal and even irreverent, it doesn’t mean the CAP rules don’t apply; among other things ads must be responsible and not misleading. There are plenty of general and sector-specific rules and prohibitions that apply to different ads and products, and these apply equally on TikTok.

Competitions and prize draws can be a good way of increasing brand awareness and loyalty; but don’t forget the rules in Section 8 apply to TikTok like any other media. And the rules apply to influencer marketing content too. For more on this topic, see our resources here.

Advice for you?

For helpful bespoke advice like clockwork, our Copy Advice team are on hand to support you with your TikTok campaigns.

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