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Advertiser: The Wine Opener
Medium: Online – Influencer’s Social Media Account
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 3.31, 3.32, 4.1, 4.2
An Instagram story by the influencer on behalf of the advertiser featured the influencer using the product and included the following statements:
“I’m so happy now that I’m working with the Wine Opener…”
“This is the Wine Opener, as you can see mine is personalised with my name but you could get it with mom, sister or if somebody is getting married. I think it would make a great gift.”
The on-screen text invited viewers to “Shop wine opener here”.
While the Influencer opens the bottle of wine, the on-screen text refers to the following:
“Here she goes opened within seconds. Shop wine opener here.”
“I have a discount code “Julie10” and that will save you 10% on the wine opener and it comes with this lovely gift box as well”. On-screen text in font similar to the background colour tagged the advertiser and included extended illegible text.
In the same frame of the story the final on-screen text featured the product once again with an invitation to viewers to “SHOP HERE Julie10 for discount”.
The complainant said that the advertising was misleading as it had not clearly been identified as a marketing communication.
The Wine Opener responded to the complaint and said that as a company, they take the ASAI Code very seriously. They said they had provided a full brief to the Influencer which had been acknowledged and approved prior to posting. They provided a copy of the brief with their response which had provided the following instruction:
“Please include the relevant hashtag #Collab in all content to denote that it is a paid-for collaboration.”
They said, however, that at the end of the day it was up to the Influencer to carry out the brief provided.
The Influencer’s agency responded to say that when tagging the brand, the influencer had used “#SP”. The post which had not been identified as advertising material had been published after the collaboration as there had been an error with the Influencer’s code.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’
The Complaints Committee noted that primary responsibility for observing the Code rested with advertisers and that advertisers could not disclaim responsibility where they have caused, directly or indirectly, advertising to be created by direct agents or other third parties on their behalf (Section 3.1 of the Code).
The Complaints Committee noted that it had been intended that #Collab be used to identify the published content as a marketing communication. While noting that the instruction had not been adhered to, they pointed out that the Committee had previously adjudicated on the use of ‘#Collab’ (Case 36530) in which they stated that the use of ‘Collab’ should be discontinued.
The Committee also noted the comments that part of the story had been identified with “#SP” but they considered that as there was no contrast provided between the text and the background colour used, it had not been sufficiently identified as a marketing communication.
In this case as the advertising material had not been identified appropriately with a clear, visible and legible disclosure such as “#Ad’, the Committee concluded that it had the potential to mislead and was therefore in breach of Sections 3.31, 3.32, 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.
The advertisement should not reappear in its current form.