An Instagram story post on Chloe Ferry's Instagram account @chloe_manor_, seen on 23 July 2021, featured an image of for ZULU Water Bottles with superimposed text that stated “New water bottles in stock”. Below that was a swipe up link to the Ferry Homely webstore where consumers could purchase the product.
IssueThe complainant challenged whether the post was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication.
ResponseChloe Ferry’s representative said that they would take care to ensure that future ads were appropriately labelled.
The ASA first assessed whether or not the post was a marketing communication and if it fell within the remit of the CAP Code. We understood that Chloe Ferry was the director of Ferry Homely and therefore had a commercial relationship with the brand. We therefore considered that Chloe Ferry and the Ferry Homely brand were synonymous, and that posts made by Chloe Ferry in her capacity as an employee of the brand constituted marketing communications in non-paid-for space, under the control of Ferry Homely. The post featured a link to Ferry Homely’s website, where the products shown in the ad could be purchased. Because the content of the post was promoting products that could be purchased through Ferry Homely’s online shop, it was directly connected to the supply of goods, and because it was also under the brand’s control, it was therefore a marketing communication that fell within the ASA's remit.
We next considered whether the post was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication and made clear its commercial intent. We noted that the post did not feature a label such as “#AD” identifying it to consumers as a marketing communication. We considered that although some of Chloe Ferry’s followers might have known about her commercial relationship with Ferry Homely, it was not immediately clear to all Instagram users that she had a commercial interest in the company from the post itself. We considered that was especially the case since the post did not feature, for example, the name of the company or any other references to the company, which would have only have been apparent once consumers clicked-through from the swipe-up link.
We welcomed Chloe Ferry’s assurance that she would take care to ensure future marketing communications were appropriately labelled. However, because at the time the post appeared its commercial intent had not been made clear upfront, and it was not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication, we concluded that it therefore breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 2.1 and 2.3 (Recognition of marketing communications).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Chloe Ferry to ensure that she made clear the commercial intent of her posts in future, and to ensure that her future posts were obviously identifiable as marketing communications, for example by including a clear and prominent identifier, such as “#ad”.