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Product: Health & Beauty – Make up
Advertiser: Inglot / Michelle Fox
Medium: Internet (Social Media), Online – Influencer’s Social Media Account
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.31, 3.32, 4.1, 4.4
An Instagram story featuring the advertisers’ products were published by the influencer on their own Instagram account. The story featured various products and included the ‘swipe up’ feature to facilitate the purchase of several products featured. Several snaps in the story promoted an offer stating:
“@inglotireland have a free gift with purchase guys!!
Spend €35, €50 or €80 to get your amazing gift…”
The story then featured images from the advertisers’ website and included text written by the influencer:
“Use code MICHELLE15 for 15% off”
On some of the images the influencer had included a hashtag disclaimer that they were a brand ambassador:
The complainant objected to the Instagram story because the influencer, who was a brand ambassador for the advertisers, had not stated on every part of the story that she was a brand ambassador. The complainant also noted that while the influencer had included the required hashtag on some of the parts of the story, the hashtag was not always clear as white text against a white background had been used.
The advertisers stated that before they had undertaken to work with the influencer, they had provided her with a Brief to follow, which had included a section on advertising guidelines, and they said that the brief had also been included in their monthly correspondence with the influencer. They provided an extract of their guidelines:
“In line with the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland, the post(s) will need to be clearly marked as sponsored.
Where possible, please ensure to use the Branded Content section within Advanced Settings to tag @inglotireland as a Business Partner so that the ‘Paid Partnership with Inglot Ireland’ tagline is visible across all posts.
Please also include the hashtags #ad and/or #sp on all sponsored posts. Further details on the ASAI guidelines can be found here: https://www.asai.ie/wp-content/uploads/ASAI-FAQs-for-Bloggers-Apr2018.pdf.”
They said that when undertaking work with all Influencers, they advise them to ensure that they follow ASAI Guidelines in relation to all social media posts and stories. They said that now that this situation had been brought to their attention, they would ensure that they discuss this in even more detail with all agencies representing paid Influencers and that they would also speak to the influencer directly in the matter and they apologised for any confusion that the complainant may have experienced.
The Influencer said that they had not been requested to post for the advertisers, and that they were posting off their own back (sic). They said that the content was not a paid post or an organised post.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ and the influencer’s responses. The Committee welcomed the actions taken by the advertisers in regard to their briefing of influencers on the requirements of the Code.
While the Committee noted the influencer’s comments that they had not been required to post the content by the brand, they noted that the influencer was a brand ambassador for the brand and as such, any content that contained or referenced the brand, should be tagged appropriately. While the Committee noted that the influencer had included the disclaimer in some images, it did not appear to have been included in all parts of the story and in others, it had not been immediately clear due to the use of white text on a white background. In the circumstances the Committee considered that the story was in breach of Sections 3.31, 3.32, 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.
The story should not reappear in its current form.
The Committee reminded the influencer that when they are a brand ambassador they are required to clearly state this on all content that features or refers to the brand they are sponsored by.
The Committee welcomed the steps being taken by the advertisers in regard to future work with influencers.