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Hollyoaks actor Jennifer Metcalfe latest influencer to fall foul of ASA

Jennifer Metcalfe did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries, which was ruled as a breach of code

Hollyoaks actor Jennifer Metcalfe is the latest influencer to be ruled noncompliant by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

According to an ASA report, Metcalfe has been issued a warning from the watchdog after she failed to make clear to followers that she had been paid to promote a HairCybele hair-curling device.

What’s the issue?

The post in question, an Instagram story promoting Hair Cybele, featured an image of her holding a hair styling device.

  • The text in Metcalfe’s post read “hair goals”, with further text stating “Me again! Use code JEN70 for 70% off! @HAIRCYBELE Swipe up to view website.” A complainant challenged whether the post was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication.

  • Haircybele said it had entered into a one-off agreement with Metcalfe and provided details of the brief for the ad, which included instructions on what she should say and how to demonstrate the use of the hair curler and display the results of using it, for which she was paid a fee.

  • Haircybele confirmed the post was an ad, but said that it did not give instructions regarding labelling as influencers usually added labels themselves when posting, and as the social media channel belonged to the influencer she was the only person who could edit it.

  • Jennifer Metcalfe did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries, which was ruled as a breach of code and resulted in a warning issued to Metcalfe.

What is the ASA doing?

  • Back in June the ASA launched a non-disclosure website naming a number of influencers with followings across social platforms such as Instagram who have not previously disclosed that some posts were paid for by brands.

  • It formed part of a process that is designed to ensure that rules regarding promotional content are consistent across all media.

  • In March, the ASA conducted its Influencer Monitoring Report, which reviewed 122 UK influencer Instagram accounts to check compliance rates – ensuring that the paid-for content is properly flagged and labeled.

  • Recent influencers added to the watchlist include five former Love Island contestants and popular YouTuber Zoella.

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