by Nadine Salameh, Campaign Director at Brand Ripplr
The influencer marketing industry continues to be on the rise, with social media platforms giving all types of creators the opportunity to stand out and share their content, and with creators now encouraged to be more transparent than ever.
Indeed, several markets are requiring influencers to obtain a license in order to do paid collaborations with brands across social media. The requirements, fees, and duration of the license vary across different markets and usually tend to drive the influencer fees higher.
In the UAE
Influencers are required to obtain an NMC license at a cost of AED15,000 and must also pay a 5% VAT charge on their fees if they are registered for VAT. While the licensing requirements are intended to promote transparency and ethical conduct in the industry, they can be expensive and limit the ability of smaller influencers to compete with larger ones.
Both Saudi nationals and non-Saudi individuals engaging in paid collaborations with brands on social media platforms are required to obtain a media license to promote transparency and ethical conduct in the influencer marketing industry. Saudi individuals can apply through the General Commission for Audiovisual Media website and pay a SAR15,000 (AED14,670) fee for a period of three years. Non-Saudi individuals must apply for an investment license, followed by a trade license and media license, and finally "Mawthooq," which is the new KSA license.
The cost of the license is high, hindering licensed nano and micro-influencers who may not have the necessary financial resources. Talents registered for VAT in Saudi Arabia are subject to a 15% VAT charge, further increasing their fees.
What collaborations are included within these regulations?
The regulations are applicable to any type of content that aims to directly or indirectly promote a brand or service for something in return (i.e. cash, gift, invitation, etc.). This includes any of the below:
Who is required to obtain a licence?
Individuals aged 18 and above who are promoting any type of brand, product, or service on any public social account.
Can content creators publish while their license status is 'under progress'?
If the talent is organically posting about a brand but is not getting anything in return, is this applicable to them?
The content piece will be assessed by the relevant authorities and may be exempted; however, it is safer that all talents obtain the licenses to avoid fines.
Oman has recently introduced a new regulation that requires influencers to obtain a license for paid collaborations with brands on social media. The license is valid for three years and failure to comply will result in a fine or suspension of the influencer's license.
What does this mean for brands and how does it impact their businesses?
We recommend brands take the below measures when developing their influencer marketing campaigns:
Finally, it is worth noting that abiding by the latest influencer legislation is critical to protect both brands and creators.