Named and shamed: UK social media influencers who broke advertising rules

Watchdog calls out stars who failed to label paid posts

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 06:  Chloe Ferry attends the MTV Europe Music Awards 2016 on November 6, 2016 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for MTV)
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Britain’s advertising watchdog has named and shamed social media influencers who failed to disclose paid promotions on their accounts.

Chloe Ferry, Chloe Khan, Jodie Marsh and Lucy Mecklenburgh – who all rose to prominence after their appearances on UK reality television shows and now boast hundreds of thousands of online followers - were called out by the Advertising Standards Authority for failing to include “clear and upfront ad labels” on some of their social media posts.

The watchdog had previously contacted the influencers to seek assurances paid promotions would be highlighted as such.

However, all four either failed to give such assurances or gave them but then reneged, a statement said.

Their names now appear on a designated website designed to highlight influencers who fall foul of the rules.

They will remain on the website for three months.

ASA chief executive Guy Parker said the four are the first influencers to be placed on the list.

"We prefer to work with influencers and brands to help them stick to the rules,” he said.

"It's not difficult: be upfront and clear when posts and stories are ads. If this doesn't bring about the changes we expect, we won't hesitate to consider further sanctions."

The ASA said it could take out its own adverts naming the influencers or it can ask social media platforms to have the offending content removed.

According to a study of 122 UK-based influencers in September last year, nearly one in four of the Instagram stories it assessed was advertising.

However, just 35 per cent of the posts were clearly labelled as a paid promotion.

UK advertising rules state that a post is advertising if the influencer receives any sort of payment, which can include a commission, free loan of a product or service, a free product or any other incentive.

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