UK watchdog reveals the celebrities breaking online ad rules

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has said it is launching a new dedicated page that will highlight individual influencers who have “repeatedly failed to disclose when their Instagram posts are ads.”

The UK watchdog said that there are certain celebrities that continue to break the rules, despite being told that they would face further sanctions if they didn’t follow them.

Chloe Ferry, Chloe Khan, Jodie Marsh, and Lucy Mecklenburgh, have all been outed as breaking the rules. According to the authority, they were all contacted by its compliance team and asked to provide an assurance that they would include “clear and upfront” ad labels in their advertising posts.

These influencers either failed to provide that assurance in the first instance or subsequently reneged on it.

Named influencers will remain on the organisation’s webpage for three months and subject to a period of enhanced monitoring spot checks. The ASA warned that other influencers who similarly break the rules repeatedly will be added over time.

It said that if named influencers continue to break the rules around non-disclosure, it will implement further sanctions, including taking out ads against them, working with social media platforms to have their content removed or referring them to statutory bodies for possible fines.

The ASA is also looking to take action against brands that repeatedly fail to disclose ads or do not provide assurances that they will properly label ads in future.

“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,” said Guy Parker, ASA chief executive. “It’s not difficult: be upfront and clear when posts and Stories are ads.

Parker added: “If this doesn’t bring about the changes we expect, we won’t hesitate to consider further sanctions.”

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