Influencers and reality stars including Chloe Ferry, Chloe Khan, Jodie Marsh and Lucy Mecklenburgh have been named by the advertising watchdog for repeatedly failing to disclose ads on their social media accounts.
The Advertising Standards Authority’s website now has a dedicated page listing their names as the regulator escalates enforcement action against influencers who don’t make it clear to their millions of followers when they’ve received payment for a post despite being put on notice.
The four influencers will remain on this list for three months and be subjected to enhanced spot checks by the ASA’s monitoring teams.
In revealing the list, the ASA went on to warn that other brands and influencers would be added if they similarly repeatedly broke the rules.
It comes after the watchdog revealed in March it had been monitoring the Instagram accounts of 122 UK-based influencers, finding that its rules around ad disclosure were only being followed 35% of the time.
Its compliance team contacted Ferry, Khan, Marsh and Mecklenburgh and asked them to provide an assurance that they would include clear and upfront ad labels in their advertising posts. All four either failed to provide such an assurance in the first instance or subsequently reneged on it.
Should inclusion on the new web page fail to work, the ASA said it could go further still by taking out ads naming influencers who break the rules, working with social media platforms to have their content removed, or referring them to statutory bodies for possible fines.
Last month, Geordie Shore star Ferry – who has more than 3.7million Instagram followers – was one of three reality TV stars reprimanded by the watchdog for promoting debt advice service Debt Slayers without revealing that she was being paid.
In May, the ASA banned posts on television personality Marsh’s Instagram account, which has 442k followers, for including unauthorised health claims about food supplements and not being clearly marked as ads.
Elsewhere, the ASA said former Celebrity Big Brother star Khan and former Towie star Mecklenburgh were included in the list after they were found to have broken advertising rules during the monitoring project.
While formal rulings in relation to either personality weren’t issued by the regulator, both had subsequently continued to break the rules and had been issued with a warning or an informal ruling.
ASA chief executive Guy Parker said, as per Press Association: ‘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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