The advertising on Instagram for sports clothing referred to the following:
The first post featured the influencer wearing sports attire and invited viewers to:
“SWIPE UP FOR JACKET
The second post was identical to the first and followed through with the wording:
The complainant said that the posts in question had not been identified as advertising material. The two swipe up links provided brought the viewer through to the rewardStyle platform where the clothes in the advertising were available to purchase. Consumer purchases were trackable from this platform and had the link from the influencer’s Instagram page led to a sale, the influencer would have had the opportunity to make commission from the sale of the items in question.
The complainant said that the advertising should have been hash tagged with affiliate links i.e. #AF to ensure consumers were aware that the material which they were viewing was in fact advertising material.
The influencer apologised for not using the relevant hashtags. She said she always used them but in this instance human error was responsible for failing to do so.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee accepted that the issue had arisen as a result of human error, nevertheless, the onus was on all advertisers including influencers to ensure that all marketing communications were clearly identifiable as such to consumers.
As the Instagram posts had not been identified as advertising material, the Committee concluded that the advertising had breached Sections 3.31 and 3.32 of the Code.
The Committee reminded all advertisers that in keeping with the requirements of the Code, it was essential that they clearly identify all marketing communications appropriately.