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Product: Health & Beauty
Advertiser: Zen Wellness
Medium: Online – Influencer’s Social Media Account
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 5.36, 5.37
The advertisement was seen as a grid post on the influencer’s Instagram account. The post was in collaboration with the advertiser and promoted an opportunity to win a space on a wellness retreat offered by the advertiser which was to take place in Italy. Rules and requirements on how to enter the competition were listed in the post caption and stated that entrants must:
• Share the post with friends and tag as many people as they liked (each tag counted as an entry).
• Make sure that every entrant followed both the advertiser and the influencer.
• Make sure to only enter if the retreat was something they would absolutely love for themselves.
Further information beneath these requirements stated that the gift could not be transferred for money and said that entrants should be over the age of 21 and that there were no geographic location restrictions to enter.
Two complaints were received against the advertisement with three issues being identified:
Issue 1: The complainants objected on the grounds that the advertiser had selected one of the two names from their email entrants, however email entry was not listed on the original post as a method of entry. They considered therefore believed that the advertising was misleading.
Issue 2: The complainants questioned the method for choosing each winner as two names were chosen, one by the advertiser and one by the influencer. These two names were then put into a bowl, and one was chosen as the overall winner of the competition. The complainants said that the selection process for choosing these two names was not transparent.
Issue 3: One complainant believed that the overall winner selected was known to both the advertiser and influencer.
The advertisers explained that each year they do a giveaway to win a place on one of their wellness retreats in Italy and that they asked the influencer to help promote the giveaway on Instagram so that more people would see it.
The advertisers said that the giveaway went live in the form of a post on the influencer’s Instagram account at 9PM on Sunday, 5th of February, and that over the subsequent days they received complaints from people who said that it was unfair to only hold the giveaway on Instagram as some people wished to enter who did not have social media. As a result, the advertisers said that on the 9th of February they created a "Landing Page" website link whereby people could also enter by submitting their email address.
The advertisers said that on the 9th of February, they posted the email link as a story on their Instagram page and that they subsequently posted this email link to their story each day from the 9th of February to the 14th of February so that all the new people following them from the influencer’s account would be aware that there was an alternative way to enter the giveaway. The advertisers said that everyone was told every 24 hours for five days until the winner was announced that there were two ways to enter.
The advertisers said that on the 14th of February, they picked a finalist from all the emails they had received, and that the influencer picked a finalist from their Instagram entries. The advertisers presented the Executive with video evidence that they had randomly selected their finalist using a comment picker software, as did the influencer, however the advertisers said that they could not share this video publicly for GDPR reasons as it revealed the finalist’s email address.
The advertisers said that on the 15th of February while they were in the retreat monastery, they wrote down the names of the two finalists in front of five people, one finalist having been randomly selected by them and the other having been randomly selected by the influencer. They then asked the owner of the monastery to select one of the names as the overall winner from a bowl containing both names.
The advertisers provided the Executive with correspondence between themselves and the overall winner as evidence that the winner was not known to neither them nor the influencer.
The influencer’s agent responded on their behalf and said that the competition post was not a paid advertisement for Zen Wellness.
They confirmed that as some people did not have social media, the advertisers set up an email entry to the competition and randomly picked their finalist’s name from these entrants.
They said the influencer randomly selected their finalist’s name via their Instagram entrants and forwarded this to the advertisers. The influencer’s agent said that the overall winner’s name was subsequently chosen fairly from a bowl containing both finalists’ names.
The influencer’s agent confirmed that neither of the two names selected (including the overall winner) were known to the influencer.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaints, as well as the responses from both the advertisers and the influencer.
Issue 1 – Upheld.
The Committee noted the actions taken by the advertisers to bring to their followers’ attention that there was an additional entry method through daily posting on their Instagram story for the duration of the giveaway. However, they also noted the Code requirement that any terms and conditions in which a promotion is presented should be clear, such as how to participate (5.15(a)). Changing or extending the entry mechanism, after the promotion has gone live, without ensuring that the change would be visible to all potential participants had potential to mislead consumers through omission of the relevant email entry and participation information. They therefore considered the promotion to be in breach of Code sections 4.1 and 5.15(a).
Issue 2 – Not Upheld.
The Committee noted the Code requirement that where a prize promotion involves any form of draw, promoters should ensure that tokens, tickets or numbers are allocated on a fair and random basis and that an independent observer should supervise the draw to ensure that individual entries enjoy equal chances (5.37). In this instance, the Committee noted that evidence was provided to the Executive which demonstrated that both initial names were selected randomly by the advertiser and the influencer using comment picker software, and that the overall winner’s name was selected by an independent observer from a bowl containing both names. They therefore did not consider that the advertising was in breach of the Code under this issue raised.
Issue 3 – Not Upheld.
The Committee noted that evidence was provided to the Executive in the form of correspondence between the advertisers and the overall winner selected which demonstrated that none of the parties were known to each other prior to the giveaway. They also noted that there was no such restriction in the rules and that in any event, as the names were selected randomly, it was not relevant in this case whether any of the entrants were known to either party. As such, the Committee did not consider the advertising to be in breach of the Code on this issue raised by the complainant.
The advertisement must not reappear in its current form.
The Complaints Committee told the advertisers that in future competitions entry mechanisms should not be added after the initial promotion unless all promotional material could be changed to indicate the new entry mechanism.