A post on Katie Price’s Instagram account, seen on 28 June 2019, featured a video of Katie Price receiving a rose gold iPhone from Idesigngold.com. In various shots throughout the video idesigngold’s branding could be seen on screen and on the product. The caption beneath the video stated “Absolutely love my new @idesigngold phone I seem to be the only girl so far to have one check out the site x”.
The complainant challenged whether the ad was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication.
Idesigngold.com t/a idesigngold did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries. Katie Price said that idesigngold produced the video but that there was no written agreement between them. Ms Price said that the product was a gift and idesigngold did not approve the content of the post.
The ASA was concerned at idesigngold’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
The CAP Code stated that marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such, and marketers and publishers must make clear that advertorials were marketing communications. The Code defined an advertorial as an advertisement feature, where the content was controlled by the marketer, and was disseminated in exchange for payment or other reciprocal relationship. The ASA first assessed whether the post was an advertorial, and accordingly within the remit of the CAP Code. We understood that the post, which featured a video of Katie Price being presented with a gold plated phone case, was created by idesigngold. Katie Price stated that the product was given to her as a gift and we were satisfied that the post had been disseminated in exchange for the free item in lieu of a financial payment by idesigngold. The video also appeared on idesigngold’s own Instagram page. We considered that because idesigngold provided the gifted item and had created the video, they had sufficient control over the content for the post to be considered a marketing communication within the remit of the Code.
We next considered whether the post was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication. We acknowledged that the caption of the post included the handle @idesigngold and a call to “check out their site”, as well as the logo for idesigngold.com which appeared in the first few seconds of the video. However, we considered that those elements did not indicate to users that the post was a marketing communication before users engaged with its content. In the absence of a clear and prominent identifier at the beginning of the post, such as “#ad”, we concluded that the post was not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication and that it breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 2.1 and 2.4 (Recognition of marketing communications).
The ad must not appear in the form complained of. We told Idesigngold.com t/a idesigngold and Katie Price to ensure that their ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications, for example by including a clear and prominent identifier such as #ad. We informed CAP’s Compliance Team of idesigngold’s failure to respond to our enquiries and referred the matter on to them.