ASA calls out Love Islanders for continued breach of advertising rules

By Megan Fahy 19-Jan-2022

The advertising watchdog is increasing sanctions against influencers who repeatedly fail to disclose paid-for posts

The UK's advertising watchdog has called out a string of reality TV stars for failing to disclose advertisements on their Instagram accounts, despite repeated warnings.

The UK-based influencers – Francesca Allen, Jess Gale, Eve Gale, Belle Hassan, Anna Vakili and Jodie Marsh were found to be in breach of the Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA) CAP Code, which states that influencers must make it explicit when a post is an advertisement to avoid misleading customers.

The ASA also said that the six personalities have received guidance on the rules.

In June 2021, after first threatening to name specific influencers and brands who flouted advertising rules back in March, the ASA set up a webpage that named influencers who despite warnings either repeatedly failed to disclose when their social media posts were, in fact, ads or failed to provide assurances that they would do so in future.

The ASA found that there had been inconsistent ad disclosure by influencers on Instagram through Stories, posts and Reels, with the disclosure rules being followed only 35% of the time.

Shahriar Coupal, Director of Advertising Policy & Practice at the ASA, said: “For the minority of influencers that repeatedly fail to disclose their paid-for posts, it’s important their social media followers are told.

“In a new front of enforcement activity, we’re using targeted ads to highlight the breaches of six social media personalities to the very same audience they’re seeking to influence.

“When we see the necessary changes to their disclosure practices, we’ll call off the ads.  But, where non-compliance persists, we’ll look to more direct forms of enforcement.”

Amber Rose Gill, the winner of Love Island in 2019, will also be added to the webpage for ongoing non-disclosure with the watchdog monitoring her content.

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Users can highlight their paid for posts by using #ad (or similar) or alternatively using Instagram’s Paid Partnership tool.

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