The Advertising Standards Association (ASA) has ramped up its influencer ‘name and shame’ campaign by publishing ads denouncing rule-breaking influencers.
Five former Love Island contestants and reality star Jodie Marsh are among the first influencers to be called out in ASA ads after repeated warnings for not labeling ads properly.
The ads have been published on social media as part of the regulators’ ongoing influencer crackdown, which has so far issued warnings to over 120 UK-based influencers.
Following previous public call-outs, the ASA said Love Islanders Francesca Allen, Jess Gale, Eve Gale, Belle Hassan, Anna Vakili and bodybuilder influencer Marsh have “consistently failed to disclose ads” despite ASA advice on how to stick to the rules.
The ads read: “[Name] has been sanctioned by the UK’s ad regulator for not declaring ads on this platform. Be aware that products and services recommended or featured by this influencer may have been paid for by those brands. Our non-compliant social media influencer page at asa.org.uk is regularly updated to inform consumers of those who break these rules.”
“In a new front of enforcement activity, we’re using targeted ads to highlight the breaches of six social media personalities to the very same audience they’re seeking to influence,” said Shahriar Coupal, director of advertising policy and practice at the ASA. “When we see the necessary changes to their disclosure practices, we’ll call off the ads. But, where non-compliance persists, we’ll look to more direct forms of enforcement.”
In June 2021 the ASA set up a webpage to shame influencers who failed to disclose ads despite warnings. Marsh was among the first names to be added. Influencers are listed on the site for a minimum of three months for the ASA to keep a close eye on their activity.
The six influencers called out in the ads were all named previously on the webpage, which forced the ASA to take further action. Another former Love Islander Amber Rose Gill was also added to the site this week for an ongoing non-disclosure, and the ASA has threatened further sanctions if she breaks further rules.
Other crackdown projects include encouraging the platforms to remove content from rule-breaking influencers and refering accounts to Trading Standards for legal action or fines.
The regulator maintains the use of #ad remains the clearest way to disclose paid content or recommends using platform tools such as Instagram’s Paid Partnership function.