Snaps on Snapchat by blogger Faces By Grace in regards to Miss Fit Skinny tea stated:
Snap 1 :
“Its Back!! The Drop a Dress Size Challenge By Miss Fit Skinny Tea starts all over again on January 9th. You in?
Drop a Dress Size Challenge.
Closed group. 15K Members.”
Featured the image of a strawberry and a cup of tea. Text underneath stated:
“Don’t forget to buy the tea to help”
“Treat to self
Use the code grace2017 for 25% off”
The complainant said that the blogger was advertising a detox programme but was not clearly identifying that the posts were sponsored. The complainant considered that all posts in regard to the product should have been clearly marked as such.
Miss Fit Skinny Tea stated that they had no control over what the blogger or anyone else typed or did not type.
Faces By Grace stated that she did use the specific hashtag at the beginning of the promotion to clearly state that it was an advertisement. She said that she always used the appropriate hashtags to let her followers know when she was being paid for a collaboration.
In response to a request for comments on the fact that there was a commercial relationship between Miss Fit Skinny Tea and the blogger, the advertisers said that they could not control what the blogger did or did not do, despite any instruction from them. They said that the blogger was no longer their brand ambassador so therefore the matter was closed from their end.
Further comments were sought from Faces By Grace in regards to the use of hashtags. While they may have used them at the beginning of the promotion, the Executive considered that it was possible that not all her followers would see all of the snaps and would therefore not know that the all the snaps concerned were advertising.
The blogger did not provide further comment.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the response from both the blogger and the advertiser. The Committee considered that it was more appropriate to deal with this matter by way of a statement.
The Committee noted the blogger’s comment that she had included the relevant hashtag at the beginning of the promotion on Snapchat and that she always used the appropriate hashtags. They also noted, however, that she had not provided any further comment in regards to the insertion of hashtags on all snaps in a series.
The Committee also noted the response from Miss Fit Skinny Tea, however, they did not accept that they had no control over the blogger’s posts when there was a commercial arrangement in place at that time.
While the Committee considered that there was no evidence in this case that relevant consumers had not seen all the snaps, including those identifying that the snaps were advertising, they were aware that snaps were available to view for 24 hours only. Therefore, if snap number 1 in a series included the relevant hashtag but subsequent snaps did not include the hashtag and they were published some hours later, there would be a period within that 24hr period when the first snap would no longer be available to view while the subsequent snaps would be. The Committee were therefore concerned that the subsequent snaps had the potential to mislead consumers.
The Committee advised both the blogger and the advertiser to take note of their concerns.
The Committee also reminded the advertiser, Miss Fit Skinny Tea, that the onus was on them to ensure that all their marketing communications adhered to the requirements in the ASAI Code, including that all marketing communications were identifiable as such.