Social Media Stars Agree To Declare When They Post Ads

Stars Are Disclosing More About Ads Through Social Media Sixteen social media stars including singers Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora, models Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Alexa Chung, and vlogger Zoella...

Stars Are Disclosing More About Ads Through Social Media

Sixteen social media stars including singers Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora, models Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Alexa Chung, and vlogger Zoella have agreed to change how they post online. They will have to clearly state if they have been paid or received any gifts or loans of products they endorse.

It follows warnings from the Competition and Markets Authority that their posts could break consumer law. Online endorsements can boost brands but can also mislead, said the CMA.

The CMA has not made a finding on whether the influencers named breached consumer law, but said all of them volunteered to change their practices following an investigation. However, if they fail to comply with the agreement reached with the CMA, they could be taken to court and face heavy fines or prison sentences of up to two years.

Warning letters have been sent to a number of other unidentified celebrities, urging them to review their social media posts. Usually, when celebrities post an advert without being clear they were paid to do so, it’s the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that gives them a slap on the wrist – if a complaint is made.

But while the ASA takes action against individual advertisements or campaigns, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) can take action against people. Social media platforms including Instagram already have built-in tools, such as the paid-partnership tool, which make it clear that a post is an advertorial.

All 16 of the celebrities named by the CMA were being investigated because they may have broken the rules repeatedly. By agreeing to change their ways they have avoided court action, which could have led to unlimited fines or even up to two years in jail.

Officially, no ruling was made on whether the stars broke the rules because they were not taken to court this time. But the CMA says its investigation is not finished. It has sent warning letters to more influencers and is going to investigate the social networks too.

Follow @TwistityNews