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Instagram blogger’s sponsored post for Flat Tummy Tea banned for failing to use #ad

Instagram blogger post banned for failing to label an ad

An Instagram post by makeup blogger Sheikhbeauty promoting tea brand Flat Tummy Tea has been banned by the advertising watchdog for failing to tag the post as an ad.

The sponsored post, seen on 7 December 2016, advertised a 20% discounted promotion the tea brand was running during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The accompanying video showed Sheikhbeauty holding a selection of the products that focused on the labelling of the products.

The blogger wrote a post tagging @flattummytea and a reference to the saving that could be made when buying the advertiser’s products. The blogger also referred to her own personal experience in using the products.

It read: "@flattummytea 20% off guys!!!! If you've been following me you'll know i used this and I genuinely feel less bloated and a flatter tummy ... oh yessss".

A complainant reported the post to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) as to whether the post was clearly identifiable as an ad, since it had no reference to being sponsored.

Instagram guidelines state that when a blogger is paid to promote a product, the post must be clearly identified as being an advertisement by using the hashtag #ad.

Flat Tummy Tea’s parent company Nomad Choice provided correspondence between Sheikhbeauty and their agent, which they said explained that she must post in accordance with all applicable laws and guidelines.

The company also edited the post after it was flagged to include #ad in front of her caption.

But the ASA concluded that since Flat Tummy Tea and Sheikhbeauty had entered into a financial agreement, the marketing fell within the remit of the CAP Code, which the post failed to comply with since it was not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication.

The post has been banned from appearing again.

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Jessica Goodfellow

The Drum's media reporter covering everything from publishing, TV, social media, radio and technology.

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