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Product: Food & Beverages
Advertiser: The Dublin Meat Company
Influencer: Clíona Kelly (peaches_og)
Medium: Online - Social Media, Online – Influencer’s Social Media Account
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 3.10, 3.31, 3.32, 4.1, 4.2
A timeline post from the Influencer’s Instagram account, was titled
“Guilt free Chicken Chow Mein” and included the following statements:
“Honestly this is one of the nicest @fitfoodforlife_ ready meals I’ve had and tastes exactly
like Chow Mein from the Chinese.”
The post included details of where the range of products were available to buy and how much the influencer spends each week on the products. The post also stated “there’s a wide selection of incredible value bundles exclusively available on www.dublinmeatcompany.com”. The bottom of the post referred to the fact that “Full nutritional information can be found on www.fitfoodforlife.com AD”
An Instragram story from the Influencer, opened with the Influencer introducing viewers to “The brand made chicken pasta from Fit Foods. It has wholewheat fusilli pasta covered in a carbonara sauce with smoked ham and diced chicken breast.” The influencer described the calorie content of the meal and stated that “Like the Cajun chicken, this one is exclusive to Dublin Meat Company at the time being.” The story ends with the Influencer outlining the stores where the range of foods can be bought and reiterates that “The brand-new ones are only available at Dublin Meat Company. Delicious you have to try”.
The complainant said that while the Influencer’s timeline Instagram post had referred to the fact that it was an “AD”, the Instagram Story had not included any disclosure. They said the influencer in question was clearly not disclosing that her promotion of the meal range was paid for as part of an ongoing arrangement with the company concerned.
The Dublin Meat Company failed to provide a response to the complaint.
The Influencer apologised and said that the situation that had arisen would not occur again. She said from her point of view she was just re-sharing an already identified paid for advertisement. She said she never failed to mark any permanent posts with “AD” as it was never her intention to mislead her followers. She provided a list of posts that had previously been identified as advertising material.
The Influencer said that she had Fit Foods highlights saved on Instagram underneath her Bio and this was titled ‘Fit Foods AD’ and she assumed that anyone who watched those stories knew they were watching advertising material
The Executive informed the Influencer that all frames of an Instagram story should be identified as advertising material. The Influencer did not respond further in the matter.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the Influencer’s response, including the evidence of ad disclosure in other posts. They expressed concern, however, at the advertisers’ failure to respond to the complaint and reminded them that there is an on all advertisers to demonstrate that their advertising is in conformity with the Code.
The Complaints Committee noted the Code requirements that a marketing communication should be designed and presented in such a way that it is clear that it is a marketing communication (3.31) and that a marketing communication should not mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise (4.1); nor should they exploit the credulity, inexperience or lack of knowledge of consumers (4.4) .
In this case while the timeline post had included “AD” at the end of the post, the Instagram story had not been identified as a marketing communication. In the light of this and in the absence of a response from the advertisers, the Committee concluded that the Instagram story was in breach of Sections 3.10, 3.31, 3.32, 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.
The advertising should not be used in the same format again.
The Committee reminded all involved in the creation of marketing communications of the importance of ensuring that all marketing communications were recognisable as such.