Love Island may have brand owners drooling at the prospect of getting their messages in front of a younger audience but one of the former stars of the show has found to her cost that advertising is far from a simple business.
Olivia Buckland, who came second alongside Alex Bowen in the hit show in 2016, has been carving out a career as a social media “influencer” ever since.
But an Instagram campaign launched earlier this year, in which Buckland bigged up Cocoa Brown tan mousse, sporting red lingerie and exposing her multiple tattoos, has been slapped down by the ad watchdog because she failed to make it clear that she was indeed advertising the product.
In the February 12 post Buckland poured forth to her 2.1 million Instagram followers about how she was preparing for Valentine’s Day by whacking on the fake tan. She wrote: “The V-Day prep is well underway and I’m topping up my tan with my fave @cocoabrowntan by @marissacarter 1 hour tan mousse.”
She went on “Original – it gives me such a natural glow with no streaks and is the perfect accessory for date night with bae. Get yours now @superdrug#TeamCB #CocoaBrownTan #ValentinesDay #BrandAmbassador.”
Her followers obviously appreciated it too, with the post accruing more than 89,000 likes.
But it only takes one complaint to force an Advertising Standards Authority investigation and so it was that the watchdog was soon probing claims that the ad was “not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication”.
In her defence, Buckland argued that she had made it clear she was advertising the product by using the phrase “#BrandAmbassador” in the post, as well as in her bio.
However, the ASA was having none of it, ruling that labels included in a bio are “insufficiently prominent” to ensure posts are obviously identifiable as ads. As for the phrase “brand ambassador”, that was unlikely to convey that Cocoa Brown had both paid for and had a level of control over the content of the post, the watchdog said.
The ASA ruling concluded: “The ad must not appear in the form complained of. We told Cocoa Brown and Olivia Buckland to ensure that their ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications, for example by including a clear and prominent identifier such as #ad.”
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