YouTube beauty tutorial led by model Ruth Crilly banned for being unclear video was advert for P&G-owned make-up brand Max Factor

The ASA ruled that the video was an "advert rather than an impartial review" 

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The Independent Online

A YouTube video featuring model vlogger Ruth Crilly giving a make-up tutorial using Max Factor products has been banned for not properly informing consumers that the clip was an advert for the brand.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled on Tuesday that the video, created by consumer giant Procter & Gamble (P&G), which owns Max Factor, was an "advert rather than an impartial review" and ruled that the video should be taken down. It cannot appear again in its current form.

The video appeared on the P&G owned YouTube channel Beauty Recommend, and showed Crilly giving advice on how to use make-up products from the Max Factor range, while a link beneath the video gave viewers the opportunity to buy the featured products from an online shop, SuperSavvyMe.

The video was brought to the attention of the ASA after another beauty vlogger contacted the authority to complain that it was not clear to viewers that the video was an advert for Max Factor.

After an investigation, ASA agreed that the videos were “marketing communications” and consumers would not necessarily know that the Beauty Recommend brand was owned and controlled by P&G.

In its ruling, the ASA said: "We considered that consumers would not be aware that the videos were ads promoting Procter & Gamble, and instead were likely to believe the videos were impartial editorial content.

"We concluded, therefore, that the videos within the Beauty Recommended channel, including the Easy Lip tutorial, were not obviously identifiable as marketing communications."


It ruled that the advert must not appear again in its current form, and warned P&G that future ads in this medium "must make the commercial intent clear prior to consumer engagement".

P&G had earlier argued that its approach to the video meant that it was clear to viewers that the vlog was sponsored.

Following the decision, a spokeswoman for P&G said: "We are disappointed following this ruling by the ASA as we believed the vlogs on our Beauty Recommended channel were clearly identifiable as marketing communications and in any event clearer than many of our competitors' channels.

"We have however as a result of the ruling made further changes to ensure we are even more transparent going forward and welcome any further guidance from the ASA to ensure there are clear industry standards in place for all in this area."

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