The number of social media influencers using the hashtag ‘ad’ has more than doubled in the last year amid a crackdown on hidden product endorsements.
A report by marketing firm Socialbakers revealed the use of #ad increased 133 per cent in the 12 months to the end of the first quarter this year.
The surge in the use of the hashtag comes amid a crackdown on influencer marketing by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Earlier this year a string of high-profile celebrity influencers vowed to be more transparent about when their social media posts are sponsored after the CMA warned unmarked adverts can be misleading and could breach consumer protection law.
While influencer marketing remains a popular format for brands, the issue of consumer trust has prompted a shift away from big-name stars.
Data published earlier this year by Rakuten Marketing showed UK marketers are less willing to fork out for the big fees demanded by high-profile social media personalities.
Instead, brands are opting to partner with so-called micro-influencers with 10,000 followers or fewer.
“Consumers are increasingly seeking out reviews and trusted voices when making purchasing decisions. This has created a huge opportunity for influencers and brands to team up to create authentic connections with audiences,” said Socialbakers chief executive Yuval Ben-Itzhak.
“Our findings indicate that brands that collaborate with authentic and relevant influencers increase their results from their social media campaigns.”