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Product: Clothing / Footwear
Influencer: Lorna Spaine
Medium: Online – Influencer’s Social Media Account
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.31, 3.32, 4.1, 4.4
“Ain’t it different @prettylittlething”
“Finally started back in my PT course two weeks ago Looking forward to getting the second half of this qualification aaaand I’ve finally completed physio on my leg after 8 months of treatment
Gym set is from @prettylittlething’s PLT PINK FRIDAY PREMIERE there’s up to 70% off EVERYTHING* + another 10% with the code: PINK10 today! #PinkFriday”
The complainant considered the influencer to be posting new outfits on her stories and page with discounts and links without declaring whether these were advertisements, whether she was paid, or being in a partnership with the brand. He noted that after some time these posts were edited to include Paid Partnership or #ad.
The brand said that they could not comment on behalf of the influencer, nor comment on the social media posts which fall outside of any contractual agreement between them and the influencer. They confirmed that both parties entered into a contractual agreement where the influencer had agreed to provide services in exchange for payment. They said that such services required the influencer to post a number of Instagram posts from her account, promoting Pretty Little Thing brand and its products. They said that contractual agreement expressly stated that such services must be provided with all applicable laws, regulations and industry codes of practice which includes but is not limited to the ASA, CAP, CMA and other applicable regulatory bodies. They said that, in addition, they included an obligation on the influencer to ensure that such posts used the Instagram ‘paid partnership’ feature. They said they had taken these steps because they recognised the importance of ensuring any paid media was clearly and conspicuously advertised as such.
The brand advised that were no longer under contract with the influencer in question and they had taken steps to notify her of this complaint and asked her to ensure that any posts in connection with the contractual agreement complied with the applicable advertising regulations. They said they recognised the importance of ensuring marketing communications were obviously identifiable as such and hoped the above information demonstrated their efforts to ensure compliance.
The influencer indicated that there was an operational challenge using the platform and once it was fixed, the banner was added above the image. She provided images of the posts in question with ‘Paid Partnership’ displayed above each of the posts.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee considered that where content was linked to a brand’s website where consumers could purchase the product depicted, and where a paid partnership was involved, such content was marketing communication. Therefore, a clear disclosure must be given in the content at the time the content is posted.
The Committee noted that in this case a disclosure had been included later, however it was not clearly visible at the time of the posts went live. In the circumstances, the Committee considered that the posts were in breach of Code sections 3.31, 3.32, 4.1 and 4.4.
As the posts had been amended to include the appropriate tag, there is no further action required.