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Product: Health & Beauty (Makeup)
Advertiser: The Hut Group (Look Fantastic)
Influencer: Ellie Kelly
Medium: Online – Influencer’s Social Media Account
A number of Instagram screenshots from the Influencer’s story featured various items of make-up from the Look Fantastic website with codes for discounts:
ELLIE_KELLY for 15% off!”
The complainant said the Influencer was advertising the Look Fantastic website and their products in an Instagram story but did not use #AD until the end of the segment. They said the Influencer should have made it clear from the beginning that the content she was posting was sponsored or an advert for Look Fantastic.
The Influencer forwarded a screen shot of the story that followed directly after all the Look Fantastic paid stories which included the text “All previous stories were in collaboration with @lookfantastic who I’m delighted to have worked with (emojis) a 15% discount code and specific swipe up links are on those stories (emoji) #AD”. She stated that it was a matter of forgetting to type the word AD as she had so many stories to upload. She said it was a simple mistake and not a case of misleading anyone as that is not in her nature. She said she included AD on some of the stories and the main post on her feed.
The advertisers confirmed that they contractually required their Influencers to ensure that any marketing material they post on their social media accounts relating to their Look Fantastic brand was clearly identified as an advert (e.g., by using #ad).
They said they have spoken to their Influencer’s marketing team about this matter, and they have reiterated that any posts/stories relating to their Look Fantastic brand need to be clearly labelled as adverts. They said going forward they will continue to monitor the Influencer’s compliance.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and the responses received.
The Committee noted that the Code requires 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). Consumers should know at the beginning of their interaction that the content is in fact a marketing communication. The Committee did not consider that including the information in a separate story after a number of stories met the Code requirements.
The Committee note that while some of the story posts had included #AD, not all had been hash tagged appropriately to indicate that they were marketing communications. The Committee also noted that the marketing communications incorporated an affiliate link and considered that this should also have been made clear to consumers.
In the circumstances, the Committee considered the advertising was in breach of Code sections 3.31, 3.32, 4.1. and 4.4.
The advertisement must not reappear in its current form. The Complaints Committee reminded the Influencer to provide the necessary disclosures where necessary, in future stories.