Love Island’s Gabby Allen had a banned Instagram post because it wasn’t clearly labeled as a paid ad by Primark.
The post, shared in August 2021, used the hashtag #iworkwithprimark in its caption.
However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) determined that he was “ambiguous and did not fully explain his relationship with Primark”.
Gabby Allen said the post has been updated to include the #ad tag.
However, the SAA still upheld the complaint.
He says #ad should have been placed closer to the start of the caption, so it was “immediately visible to consumers viewing the post in the feed on Instagram.”
He holds Primark and Gabby Allen “jointly accountable” for making sure their posts follow the rules.
Newsbeat reached out to Gabby Allen reps for comment.
The original post featured a photo of Gabby Allen with the caption: “Feeling fabulous but relaxed Wearing these jeans and one and only @primark #iworkwithprimark top”.
Primark said the #iworkwithprimark label was enough to let followers know it was a sponsored post.
But the ASA says it “has not fully explained [Gaby Allen’s] relationship with Primark. “
He adds that the hashtag is “long and unclear, and its content and meaning would not have been immediately apparent to consumers.”
What are the rules?
Gabby – who finished fourth in Love Island’s 2017 series – has 1.1 million followers on Instagram.
She is by no means the first influencer to be called by the ASA for failing to correctly label an ad on social media.
The ASA surveyed 122 UK-based influencers, and according to Ed Senior, “overall compliance was disappointing.”
He’s an ASA compliance executive and his job is to make sure advertising rules are followed – he suggests it can be done in a number of ways.
The rules say that the content must “be clear, obvious and identifiable as advertising”.
Putting a hashtag #ad is one way, but it says they could also verbally say it’s an advertisement at the start of a video.
“It has to be clear and obviously in advance, before the engagement. That’s why, even when they added #ad at the end, it wouldn’t be enough to respect the rules.”
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If someone breaks the rules, there are different levels of penalties.
Ed says the ASA will ask someone to edit the content to follow the rules or remove it.
If things escalate, people can be put on a public list, with the ASA working with platforms to remove additional content and eventually even direct it to legal authorities.
This year, Love Island’s Luke Mabbott, Towie’s Lauren Goodger, and the TikTok collective The Wave House were all forced to remove posts because they weren’t clearly labeled as advertisements.
In August, the ASA named and shamed four celebrities who repeatedly broke the rules: Chloe Khan, Jodie Marsh, Lucy Mecklenburgh, and Chloe Ferry.
It was discovered that Molly-Mae Hague broke the rules on a competition she tried to organize on Instagram.
“Targeting someone like Molly-Mae sends a message to other influencers, who may have a smaller following, to remind them that they have the same requirements as any other brand,” Nick Breen of the law firm Reed told the BBC at the time. Smith.
“So as they run more sophisticated campaigns, in addition to copying and pasting marketing from an advertiser, they need to pay even more attention.”
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- Social media
- Social media influencer
- Authority for Advertising Standards
- Island of love
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