ASA to name influencers who repeatedly break rules, in escalation of non-disclosure enforcement action

The ASA are launching a new dedicated page on their website, highlighting individual influencers who, despite being put on notice that they would face further sanctions if they did not follow the advertising rules, have repeatedly failed to disclose when their Instagram posts are ads.

ASA said:

In March this year we released our Influencer Monitoring Report, examining levels of ad disclosure on Instagram through 122 UK-based influencer accounts. We discovered inconsistent disclosure through Stories, posts and Reels, with our rules being followed (when posts were ads) only 35% of the time.

In response to ongoing rule breaking following this monitoring sweep, we are today launching a non-compliance webpage that will name influencers who have broken our rules.

Chloe Ferry, Chloe Khan, Jodie Marsh and Lucy Mecklenburgh were all contacted by our compliance team and asked to provide an assurance that they would include clear and upfront ad labels in their advertising posts. They either failed to provide that assurance in the first instance or subsequently reneged on it.

Named influencers will be on the webpage for three months and subject to a period of enhanced monitoring spot checks. Other influencers who similarly break our rules repeatedly will be added over time.

If named influencers continue to break our rules around non-disclosure, we have further sanctions we can implement, including taking out ads against them, working with social media platforms to have their content removed or referring them to statutory bodies for possible fines.

We will also be looking to take action against brands that repeatedly fail to disclose ads or do not provide assurances that they will properly label ads in future

ASA Chief Executive, Guy Parker says:

“We prefer to work with influencers and brands to help them stick to the rules, but the first influencers to be named on this list have been given every opportunity to treat people fairly about their ads. 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.”

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