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Advertiser: MSL Motor Group
Influencer: Jodie Wood
Medium: Social Media (Blogger's Own Page)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.31, 3.32, 4.1, 4.4
A social media post by the influencer showed them exiting a Mazda car. The post included a tag for the brand.
The complainant objected to the post on the grounds that the influencer was a brand ambassador for the car brand but had not included any disclosure on the post.
In response it was explained that the influencer was a brand ambassador for the brand and that whenever there was agreed content with the brand advertised, the influencer clearly marks it as Brand Ambassador. They advised that the post in question was not requested by the brand as it was posted organically by the influencer, however, it had been amended to include Brand Ambassador for additional transparency.
The brand stated that they believed the communication in question was presented in a clear and concise manner. They said that the influencer had demonstrated herself as the primary aspect of the video communication with little emphasis on the Mazda vehicle in the background. They also said that the brand of the vehicle was unidentifiable due to zero visibility of the brand logo, which was displayed on the front grille and therefore not present in the video.
The brand stated that in order to eradicate the possibility of any misleading, inaccurate or ambiguous information, the influencer had referenced the vehicle and her association with MSL Park Motors Mazda in the caption and they attached a copy of the amended post as referenced by the influencer’s agency.
The brand also said that they actively reminded their Brand Ambassadors and associated partners to demonstrate their association with their company when communication is published to avoid ambiguity.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the responses received. The Committee welcomed the action taken by the influencer in amending the post to include the disclosure that they were a brand ambassador. While the Committee noted that the post was not agreed content with the brand, the influencer was a brand ambassador for the brand and as such, there was a requirement that the content include a disclosure. As the post had not included the disclosure at the time it was published, the Committee considered that the post at that time was in breach of Sections 3.31 and 3.32 of the Code.
As the post had been amended, no further action was required.
The Committee reminded all parties that when an influencer is a brand ambassador, content that features products from that brand must clearly disclose the arrangement.