<p>Eve and Jess Gale</p>

Eve and Jess Gale

Five Love Island stars put on watch for breaking advertising rules on Instagram

They will remain on the list for three months and be closely monitored

Saman Javed
Wednesday 25 August 2021 10:26
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Five former Love Island contestants have been added to a watchlist by the UK’s advertising regulator for failing to disclose paid ads on their Instagram accounts.

Eve Gale, Jess Gale, Belle Hassan, Francesca Allen and Anna Vakili’s Instagram accounts will be listed on a dedicated page on the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) website as it ramps up its enforcement action on “non-compliant” influencers.

The influencers will remain on the list for three months and will be closely monitored by the watchdog through spot checks.

The ASA said it had made the decision to publicly list their names after they failed to comply with advertising rules, despite being put on notice months ago.

The page was first published in June, with influencers Chloe Khan, Jodie Marsh, Geordie Shore’s Chloe Ferry, and former The Only Way Is Essex star Lucy Mecklenburgh previously making the list.

The news comes after the ASA began monitoring the Instagram accounts of 122 UK-based influencers in 2020, when its compliance team did a sweep of 24,000 posts. The results found that rules around ad disclosures were only being followed 35 per cent of the time.

“We found unacceptably low levels of disclosure by a significant majority of those influencers and issued a warning that we would do follow up spot checks,” a spokesperson for the ASA told The Independent.

As per the ASA’s rules, a paid advertisement must be obvious to consumers before they read, “like”, or interact with a social media post.

With five former Love Island stars now being added to the list, the watchdog has also partnered with ITV to create a “cheat sheet” for contestants on the show to help them understand how and when the rules apply to them.

“We prefer to work with influencers and brands to help them stick to the rules but the latest cohort to be added to our wall have repeatedly failed to be upfront and clear when their social media posts are ads,” Shahriar Coupal, director of advertising policy and practice at the ASA, said.

“Ignorance of the rules is not an excuse, particularly given we created dedicated guidance for Love Island contestants and we’ve given them every opportunity to get their houses in order.

“It’s not difficult: disclose when your content is an ad. If these influencers fail to do better, we won’t hesitate to consider further sanctions.”

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