The ‘ad’ was posted on the Channel 4 reality star’s Instagram page earlier this year and featured Louise Thompson showcasing a beauty brush product accompanied by the text ‘Obsessed with my glowspin! Swipe up for $100 off using my code ‘louiseglow’. Louise was previously cautioned by the ASA in July for promoting a watchmaker without indicating that the content was paid for product placement.
What was the issue?
In this instance, a complaint was made to the ASA that the post was an advertisement and that it was not clear that the piece was paid for. The ASA’s view was that it was not obvious whether the post was independent editorial content, sponsored editorial content or advertising.
The CAP Code states that all marketing communications, must be identifiable from a marketer or publisher and that they make clear their commercial intent (whether it is a paid ad or not). The ASA considered that because the post was created by Louise Thompson for Vanity Planet, both the brand and the influencer were jointly responsible for ensuring that promotional activity conducted on Vanity Planet’s behalf was compliant with the CAP Code.
Despite this, influencers are still continuing to breach CAP Code rules 2.1 / 2.3 and 2.4 and must make sure that they are clearly labelling what they are being paid to post in order to prevent ASA rulings, bad publicity and negative PR. As Guy Parker, the ASA’s chief executive has previously said “…people shouldn’t have to play the detective to work out if they’re being advertised to”.
If you are interested in Influencer marketing and want to understand more about the rules, regulations and UK guidelines for this popular type of marketing, why not head over to our website or YouTube channel and view some of the content from our recent ‘Be in the know’ Influencer Marketing Breakfast Briefing where expert influencer Rhiannon Duffin and one of the ASA’s team discussed the issues and restrictions facing brands today.