Buzzfeed and Dylon in trouble over unclear advertorial

Buzzfeed UK and Dylon are in trouble over an advertorial that appeared on the entertainment and news website, after complaints the article wasn't clearly labelled as an ad.

The advert was styled as a BuzzFeed article and featured photos and social media posts highlighting laundry ‘fails’. The text “Dylon Brand Publisher” appeared next to the logo for Dylon’s Colour Catcher product.

Buzzfeed told the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that as the watchdog had not previously ruled on whether a label such as the one in the ad would be sufficient to alert consumers to the fact that it was a marketing communication, they relied on their US practices to guide how they labelled ads.

The publisher pointed out the text it had included in the advertorial, and said that where the ad was promoted on the website’s home page, it was flagged with a highlighted label in yellow, which stated “promoted by” in bold and followed by the Dylon name and logo.

The ASA said that despite the labels showing up the homepage and search listings consumers could arrive at the advertorial via a range of other means, which meant that it should be "made immediately clear on the web page itself that it featured advertorial content".

The watchdog added: "We further noted that the web page was very long and visitors to it would therefore not see the reference to Dylon Colour Catcher at the bottom of the page until they had already engaged with the content."

Buzzfeed UK and Dylon owner Henkel were told by the ASA to ensure that ads were obviously identifiable, including by using labels other than “Brand Publisher” for advertorials.

The advert has since been removed.

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