How Korean Beauty Bloggers will be affected by the new influencer marketing laws
How Korean Beauty bloggers will be affected by the new influencer marketing laws - Episode 103 of the Korean Beauty Show Podcast
On this week’s episode, in addition to announcing the winner of our podcast review competition, Lauren discusses the recent headlines announcing that the TGA has clarified that its Advertising Code applies to influencer marketing. She answers a listener’s question about watery oils. Plus, find out which new Korean beauty brands have just landed at STYLE STORY.
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Aussies now have a new way to shop their favourite Korean beauty products online. STYLE STORY has teamed up with Woolworths to add over 120 Kbeauty products to their Everyday Market Platform. With 25 of the hottest Korean beauty and makeup brands now available you can stock up on your groceries and your favourite Kbeauty products all in one place.
The big news headline in Australia this week was that the TGA clarified that its Marketing Code also applies to influencers, and in particular influencer testimonials that were given in exchange for a paid ad or free product.
This means that influencers are now no longer able to provide testimonials related to therapeutic goods products in circumstances where they have received valuable consideration for the product.
TGA regulated products include things like sunscreens, products making claims to change the body (i.e. lightening pigmentation through targeting melanin, anti-aging to remove wrinkles etc).
Therapeutic goods are those that are advertised as being for therapeutic use i.e. treating an injury, treating illness, skin condition or preventing the same. In the skincare space, this means that regular cosmetics like cleansers, toners and moisturisers are fine but products claiming that they cure acne or reduce wrinkles are making therapeutic claims.
The distinction can be difficult, but it also comes down to how the product is being advertised or marketed.
The reason this story blew up was because one outlet published the clarification under a headline which suggested that influencer marketing was being banned. This is not the case. What is banned is testimonials in relation to therapeutic goods in circumstances where the person providing the testimonial has received money or product ("consideration") for giving it
The TGA's advertising rules include that:
Of particular relevance for Korean beauty bloggers, influencers are now not able to claim that a product can diagnose, treat or cure a serious condition without prior permission or approval from the TGA.
Influencer marketing is still an acceptable form of advertising in Australia provided that the influencer does not provide a personal account of their experience. This means that influencers can broadly endorse therapeutic goods, so long as they don't claim to have personally found them effective.
The TGA has clarified that "before and after" pictures are likely to be testimonials.
The really important clarification here for most Korean and Asian beauty bloggers in Australia is around sunscreens. Now, I’ve spoken in the past about the fact that Korean beauty stores in Australia (like STYLE STORY) are not allowed to sell sunscreens on our website. We have to be really careful about any messaging around Korean sunscreens because they aren’t TGA registered and are therefore not allowed to be promoted, distributed or sold on our platform.
However, this new clarification makes it clear that if you are accepting free product or being paid by a brand to share their sunscreen on your page you will be considered to be working with the brand to promote that product. If that’s a Korean sunscreen that’s going to be a problem for you.
This is where it gets tricky because some people say, ‘well I looked on the TGA website and I couldn’t see the product there so I assumed its not relevant’. Clearly, that’s not the case because all primary sunscreen products fall under the TGA. If the primary purpose of the product is to provide protection from the sun, then it needs to be on the ARTG in order to be sold here. There are exceptions for things like sunscreen in a makeup product, where the SPF is a secondary benefit, the primary purpose of the product being makeup.
Australian influencers have permission to endorse – or advertise – products. Of course they must disclose an advertisement with hashtags like #Ad, "sponsored post" or "paid partnership".
What they can no longer do is publish testimonials, offering their personal experience or opinions, if they have been paid or gifted a product or service for free. Importantly, as of July 1, influencers will also have to remove historical testimonials that have been paid, gifted or incentivised. That means that the law is retrospective and applies to old content on Instagram.
This week's listener question:
"I feel like the answer should be obvious but I just can't seem to wrap my head around what a "watery oil" is (like the Isntree rosehip watery beauty oil or the d'Alba prestige watery oil). What exactly are they, who would benefit from using them and where do they fit in a routine (are you supposed to treat them like true oils or like serums)?"
This is a great question. You’ll be able to recognise these products because they’ll be called a "Moisturising Oil" or a "Watery Oil". I think the best way to think of these products is as a moisturising oil.
As with all oil products you can slot them into your routine based on the texture - thinnest to thickest. A lot of brands are introducing these products at the moment in Korea. The marketing for them emphasises the fact that they are less sticky than traditional oils and feel fresher on the skin. Most of them have a medium rating in terms of the oil factor.
This is certainly true of the ISNTree Rosehip Watery Beauty Oil as well, which I’ve been using in my routine since last year. I’d say its an oil hybrid that feels like an oil but with less of the downsides of a traditional oil, in terms of the thick, heavy feeling on your skin.
d’Alba’s Oil is known as the ‘one second oil’ in Korean. It performs much more like a water on the skin than a traditional oil.
There were 27 releases on the STYLE STORY site this week, so far too many to go through in one episode. Some of the new brands that have just landed in Australia at STYLE STORY include:
SKIN1004's philosophy is to be a guardian angel for the skin.1004 is pronounced the same as "angel" in Korean, so the brand's name literally reads as SKIN ANGEL in the Korean language.
The brand makes its products in Korea to target problems like acne, skin hypersensitivity, enlarged pores and redness. It uses the best sources for ingredients, like it's cult-favourite Madagascar Centella line, which contains Centella asiatica from pristine Madagascar.
TOCOBO is a vegan beauty brand from Korea that values the essentials.
With a brand motto of "Value your intuition", they create the skincare products you need for healthy skin using only must-have ingredients. Get ready to see a surprising change in your skin with TOCOBO.
The brand's principles are clarity, modernity and satisfaction.
Hanyul is a brand under the Amore Pacific umbrella that is more popular in Korea than overseas. In Korea, it is a beloved Korean beauty brand that delivers everyday benefits to the skin and mind. The brand creates products that hold the essence of Korea’s nature captured by modern technology.
HANYUL has dedicated itself to identifying the special benefits of materials found in nature in Korea. It rediscovers the everlasting vitality of the ingredients like Mugwort (Artemisia), Yuja and more.
Lagom means "Not too much, not too little". The Korean beauty brand LAGOM takes its name from the Swedish concept of “lagom,” which they say means, “just the right amount.”
The brand advocates a balanced lifestyle through its practical and effective products. The Lagom brand was created in 2015 as a collaboration between 12 renowned skin specialists (doctors, professors and experts) and Korea's top makeup artist Go Won Hye (known for 'water glow', 'honey glow' and 'flawless glow' looks). The Lagom team of experts has many years of experience in skin problems and skin diseases. Lagom Korea focuses on developing products that actually provide the skin with moisture and nourishment rather than just giving it the feeling of hydration.
"5 Stars - Has become a skincare staple for me
I'm onto my second bottle of this stuff. This completely renewed my dry, dull skin. I have never received so many compliments about how "bright" and "glowy" my skin was until using this consistently paired with the matching iunik beta glucan moisturiser.
Such a great product for the price!"
"5 Stars - A really nice alternative
I had to switch over to this as my usual brand was out of stock and I'm so happy I did! A really nice formula :)"
"If you are accepting free product or being paid by a brand to share their sunscreen on your page you will be considered to be working with the brand to promote that product. If that’s a Korean sunscreen that’s going to be a problem for you."Lauren Lee, Host of the Korean Beauty Show podcast
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