The influencer posted an Instagram story which featured a series of images of the influencer with the respective captions:
“@ejmenswear Swipe Up”
“Night now @ejmenswear”
The complainant considered that the posts were the result of a collaboration between the brand and the influencer that had not been disclosed as such in the story. They therefore considered there was insufficient transparency in the marketing communications.
The influencer advised that he had forgotten to include ‘#collab’ in the posts.
The brand confirmed that this was an oversight on the part of the influencer and advised that measures had been implemented to prevent future such occurrences.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint, the influencers’ and the advertisers’ response.
They noted that the response provided by both parties confirmed that the posts were part of a collaboration between the influencer and the brand. They acknowledged that the issue was the result of an oversight on the part of the influencer but nonetheless considered that all posts should have been hash tagged correctly to indicate the existence of a commercial relationship so that it was clear the posts were marketing communications.
In the circumstances, the Committee considered the advertisement to be in breach of Code sections 4.1, 4.4, 3.31 and 3.32.
Action Required: Notwithstanding the advertisers’ remedial steps, the Committee reminded all involved in the creation of marketing communications of the importance of ensuring that all marketing communications were recognisable as such.