An Instagram post on TV personality Stephanie Davis’ page, seen on 10 August 2017, promoted vitamins. Text stated “Just wanted to let you all know about @convitsuk - a great daily vitamin & mineral company I have just started using … Get your exclusive 50% off online today with code STEPH50”. [Love heart emoji]”.
The complainant challenged whether the ad was obviously identifiable as such.
Convits said that they informed all agencies that they worked with that social influencers must include relevant evidence in the post to demonstrate that it was an ad. They said that in future, every post would be reviewed before it was posted by the social influencer.
Stephanie Davis said that the Instagram post was reviewed by her previous agency. She confirmed that she had amended the post to include “#ad”.
The CAP Code stated that marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such. Furthermore, marketers and publishers must make clear that advertorials were marketing communications.
The ASA understood that Convits and Stephanie Davis had entered into an agreement, in which Stephanie Davis was sent the products which she was required to photograph and post on her social media account. Based on that information, we considered that the Instagram post would be considered a marketing communication falling within the remit of the CAP Code.
We noted that the post included the handle @convitsuk and also included an exclusive discount code which consumers could use. However, we considered that those elements did not indicate to users that the post was a marketing communication. While we noted that Stephanie Davis had amended the post to include the identifier “#ad”, but because at the time of the complaint the post did not include an identifier such as “#ad”, we considered that it was not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication and therefore concluded that it breached the Code. We welcomed Convits’ assurance that future ads would be appropriately labelled.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 2.1 2.1 Marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such. and 2.4 2.4 Marketers and publishers must make clear that advertorials are marketing communications; for example, by heading them "advertisement feature". (Recognition of marketing communications).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Convits and Stephanie Davis to ensure that ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications in future. For example, by including a clear identifier such as “#ad”.