Who: The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and ITV plc (ITV)
Where: United Kingdom
When: 30 July 2019
Law stated as at: 25 July 2019
ITV and the ASA have partnered up to help Love Island contestants make their social media followers aware when their posts are actually adverts. For many Islanders, life after the Island will likely see them partner up with brands to promote to their growing social media base.
The ASA has created an ABC Cheatsheet for Islanders (and other celebrities and influencers) to help them stick to advertising rules. The ABC Cheatsheet helpfully sets out some of the most common circumstances where influencers are advertising and must clearly label their posts as ads:
- B – Brands: When a brand pays for products or services to be promoted with money or gifts.
- C – Control: If the post is paid for or about a gift.
- D – Discount codes: If a brand pays for sales through the use of a discount code or link.
- G – Gifts: Gifts are payments in kind.
The ABC Cheatsheet also helpfully notes that followers are “not mind-readers. Spell it out clearly.” and if hashtags are used, these should be “clearly visible upfront, don’t hide it away”.
In addition to providing this checklist, the ASA has also said that it will work with ITV and selected talent agencies that represent Love Island contents to make them aware of the advertising rules, as well as their responsibilities in ensuring their new clients adhere to them.
Why this matters:
Over the past few years, there have been a number of examples of celebrities and social media influencers falling foul of ASA rules. Earlier this year, the ASA announced that had it warned “between 200 and 300” social media influencers for breaking paid partnership rules in the past 12 months.
The announcement comes just days before former “Ex on the Beach” contestant, Jemma Lucy, had an Instagram post banned by the ASA because it was not properly identified as an advert for a weight loss coffee. The new checklist will hopefully help reduce the number of social media influencers being penalised by the ASA, as well as ensuring the general public is not misled by the posts they see on social media sites.