The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) is escalating sanctions against social media influencers who fail to disclose which posts are ads.
Former Love Island stars including Francesca Allen, Jessica Gale, Eve Gale, Belle Hassan and Anna Vakili, as well as TV personality Jodie Marsh, have come under fire from the advertising watchdog for repeatedly breaking disclosure rules. The ASA will run an advertising campaign on Instagram, where the celebs have a collective following of 4.8m, which alerts social media users to the sanctions against the six influencers.
“For the minority of influencers that repeatedly fail to disclose their paid-for posts, it’s important their social media followers are told,” said Shahriar Coupal, Director of advertising policy and practice at the ASA.
“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,” Coupal continued.
Coupal said the ASA would call off the ad campaign once it saw evidence of the necessary changes being made. Until then the watchdog will look into more direct forms of enforcement to ensure compliance.
The ASA formerly named and shamed the celebs for rule breaches on a public webpage. However, the watchdog has decided to turn up the heat after it found that the celebs only complied with their guidelines on disclosure in 35 per cent of their posts, reels and stories.
The Instagram adverts will consist of a warning that each celebrity is subject to sanctions by the ASA and alerts the public “that products and services recommended or featured by this influencer may have been paid for by those brands.”
Love Island winner Amber Rose Gill will also be added to the ASA’s webpage this week for ongoing non-disclosure, with the watchdog prepared to take further action if necessary.