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Advertiser: Dylan Oaks Jewellery
Medium: Online - Social Media
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 3.31, 3.32, 4.1, 4.4
An Instagram story on the influencer’s account included images of the advertisers’ website and included links to the website and a discount code offering 10% off.
One of the images from the story included the disclosure “sp” which appeared in white text against a white background.
The complainant objected to the advertising on the grounds that the content had not been clearly disclosed as advertising, given that the majority of the content had not included any disclosure and one image had included the words ‘sp’ in white against a white background.
The advertisers said that they had worked with the influencer, but that the influencer had also purchased goods from them and that these purchases were not collaborations or paid partnerships. They said that they were not able to accurately say what products the influencer had purchased from them, nor could they say what the influencer had been paid to do for them. They did advise that the influencer did not receive commission from either the links to their website or from the use of the discount code.
They said that any paid partnerships they enter into with talent were subject to the talent signing a contract that includes an agreement to include all required hashtags to denote that it is a paid partnership (paid advertisement for Dylan Oaks) in accordance with ASAI policy.
The influencers’ agency replied on their behalf, and they initially stated that they had spoken to the influencer and advised them to mark their advertisements with bigger text going forward.
The agency then advised that the content was not paid for content and the inclusion of the ‘sp’ disclosure was an error.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee noted the commentary that the content was not paid for and that the disclosure on one part of the content had been included in error. The Committee noted that the content had included both a link to the advertisers’ website and a promotional element by way of a discount code, therefore, the content was a marketing communication and should have made it clear, through the content or the context of the posts, that it was a marketing communication. While one part of the content had included a disclosure, it was in white text against a white background. The Committee noted that the Code requirement applied both to the inclusion of a disclosure that content is a marketing communication, but also that the disclosure used is both clear and prominent. In the absence of a disclosure and as the disclosure used on one image was not clearly visible, the Committee did not consider that the advertising was in compliance with Code Sections 3.31, 3.32, 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.
The advertising should not reappear in its current form.
The Committee reminded advertisers and social media content creators of their responsibility to ensure that commercial content is clearly labelled as a marketing communication.