An Instagram reel on Myleene Klass’ Instagram page, dated 13 May 2022, featured text which stated, “myleeneklass What do you wish they’d taught at school? I asked my mates… […] #TDTTAS @hqstories @harpercollinsuk PS Teachers, you are angels on earth doing what you do and we know you teach the curriculum but I’d especially love to hear from you! #Theydontteachthisatschool”, accompanied by a video of various celebrities answering the question, “What’s something REALLY important that you should’ve been taught in school…but you WEREN’T?”. Some of the celebrities were seen with a copy of a book. The video ended with Myleene Klass being shown holding a copy of her book entitled “They don’t teach this at school” while on-screen text stated, “wish granted”.
IssueThe complainant challenged whether the post was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication.
Myleene Klass’ representatives said there was some confusion as to what was and was not an ad but Ms Klass had added “ad” to all her posts moving forward and would continue to do so.
The CAP Code stated that marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such, and that they must make clear their commercial intent if that was not obvious from the context.
The ASA first assessed whether the post was a marketing communication within the remit of the CAP Code. We understood that the book entitled “They don’t teach this at school” was written by Myleene Klass and was available for consumers to purchase. Because the post was in non-paid-for space under Ms Klass’ control, and because it was intended to promote her book, and was therefore directly connected to the supply of goods provided by her, we considered the post was a marketing communication for the purposes of the Code.
We next assessed whether the post was obviously identifiable as an ad. The caption accompanying the post stated, “What do you wish they’d taught at school? I asked my mates…”. The video opened with various celebrities giving their answers to the question. We considered that those viewing the ad could have believed the video was just a general discussion about the subject rather than it being related to the promotion of Ms Klass’ book. We noted that it was not until the sixth celebrity featured that one of them was shown with a copy of the book which was only partially visible on their lap. It was not clear, at that point, that Ms Klass was the author of the book. At the end of the video Ms Klass was shown holding a copy of the book up to the camera, with the on-screen text “Wish Granted”. We considered it was only at that point that it would have been clear to viewers that her book was the subject of the video and the reason for the initial question. For those reasons we considered it was not immediately clear to viewers that the post was a marketing communication.
We noted that the profile picture on the Instagram page was an image of the book’s front cover. We assessed the post as it would have appeared in-feed on Instagram and considered the image was too small for viewers to read to see that the book was written by Ms Klass. We therefore considered that the profile picture was insufficient to make clear the post’s commercial intent or to make it obviously identifiable as an ad to those viewing it.
We welcomed Ms Klass’ assurance that she would be adding “#ad” to her posts in future. However, because, at the time of the complaint, the post’s commercial intent had not been made clear upfront, for example with the use of an identifier such as ‘#ad’, we considered that it was not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication and concluded that it breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 2.1 2.1 Marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such. and 2.3 2.3 Marketing communications must not falsely claim or imply that the marketer is acting as a consumer or for purposes outside its trade, business, craft or profession; marketing communications must make clear their commercial intent, if that is not obvious from the context. (Recognition of marketing communications).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Myleene Klass to ensure that ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications and made clear upfront their commercial intent in future, for example, by including a clear identifier such as “#ad”.