Social media stars including Jodie Marsh and five ex-Love Islanders including Francesca Allen are to face a name-and-shame Instagram campaign by Britain’s advertising watchdog for continuing to flout the social media marketing rules.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which has issued a final warning to 122 UK-based Instagram influencers for repeatedly failing to tell followers when they have been paid to promote products in posts, has taken action. to the use of the social media platform to highlight their behavior to users. .
The ASA has created personalized ads that name the social influencers – Marsh, Allen, twins Jess and Eve Gale, Belle Hassan and Anna Vakili – stating that they have been sanctioned for failing to report paid posts to followers and pointing to a web page listing all of them. who “break these rules”.
On Tuesday, Love Island winner Amber Rose Gill was added to the ASA’s non-compliance webpage, despite not being part of the targeted Instagram ad campaign.
“For the minority of influencers who repeatedly fail to disclose their paid posts, it’s important that their social media followers are informed,” said Shahriar Coupal, director of advertising policy and practice at ASA. “In a new front of law enforcement activity, we’re using targeted ads to highlight violations by six social media personalities to the same audience they seek to influence.”
The ASA, which is running the targeted campaign for two weeks to assess whether the ads have an impact on influencer behavior, did not rule out potential new penalties.
“When we see the necessary changes to their disclosure practices, we will be rolling back the ads,” Coupal said. “But, where non-compliance persists, we will seek more direct forms of enforcement.”
Social media influencers who continue to breach non-disclosure rules could be referred to Trading Standards or the Competition and Markets Authority, which has the ability to impose fines. The watchdog has also previously said it may also work with social media companies “to have their content removed.”
Under the UK Advertising Code, promotional posts must clearly state that they are paid for, usually using the hashtag #ad, short for advertising.
In 2019, the CMA secured formal commitments from 16 celebrities, including Alexa Chung and Ellie Goulding, to clearly state whether they were paid or received gifts when posting Instagram posts.