What do you make of this? This looks like a cat massager being used by a blue British Shorthair name Ciccio. It’s one of those fancy cat products which I think the owner is meant to hold against the back of their cat’s head and over the top of the head. But the TikTok video maker has managed to make it look as if their blue British Shorthair cat is operating it himself.
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On TikTok there is a link to where the product was bought and this begs the question whether this TikTok influencer is using TikTok to promote cat products without disclosing it to viewers.
There is nothing on the video which tells me that it is a paid promotion. I don’t know if it is a paid promotion but it is a promotion because the influencer says that they can find out where the product was bought by clicking on a link.
UK rules for social media influencers
The point I’m trying to get to is that in Britain TikTok influencers have to be transparent to viewers if they are being paid by a manufacturer to promote a product by disclosing it in the video. I am told that they have to “put an advert label on content if they have received payment or any other incentive or are personally or commercially connected to the brand” – The Times newspaper Nov. 20th 2023.
The rules come under the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regulations. And my research tells me that a lot of TikTok influencers are not complying with these rules. I don’t know whether this lady is or not because it is not clear to me that she is being paid or not. But the entire TikTok account is full of cat products being promoted.
As to the video, what’s happened here is that the influencer has simply placed the massager underneath the cat’s head and placed their paw underneath the device and then captured the video for a very short time, just long enough to make it look like the cat is operating the device. That’s my take on it. It looks cute and it’s got 48 million views therefore if they wanted to influence people this video would have done it very effectively.
Sixty-five percent of influencers don’t comply with this rule according to the ASA!
TikTok is a great platform for selling products of all kinds.
The video is from the TikTok account of Cicciothebrit.
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