Mrs Hinch: Cleaning social media influencer under investigation by advertising watchdog

‘I'm overly cautious when it comes to these guidelines’

Katie O'Malley
Thursday 06 June 2019 09:40
Comments
Mrs Hinch shares her best cleaning hacks

Social media influencer Sophie Hinchliffe is currently under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over concerns of her promotion of cleaning products.

Hinchliffe, who is commonly known by her social media moniker “Mrs Hinch”, boasts over 2.5m Instagram followers and regularly shares her cleaning advice ranging from how to unblock a sink to buying the best cloth.

However, the ASA has said that it received three complaints in April concerning the labelling of the 29-year-old’s adverts within her Instagram posts and is investigating the social media star.

The posts included the products Flash and Febreze, both owned by Procter & Gamble.

Under the ASA’s advertising rules, influencers must clearly specify posts that they have been paid or rewarded to promote, review or talk about a product in their social media feeds in keeping with consumer protection law.

It is believed Hinchliffe received advice from the ASA on two occasions prior to the investigation on how to abide by their rules.

Speaking about the investigation, an ASA spokesperson says: "I can confirm that we received three complaints in April about Mrs Hinch's Instagram posts concerning the labelling of ads (where she was posting about products including Flash and Febreze) and are currently investigating.

"We will publish our decision in due course."

In response to the investigation, Hinchliffe explains: “I take the responsibility that comes with having a large social media following very seriously, and, for me, being authentic and transparent is incredibly important.

"I'm fortunate that brands want to work with me, but I only collaborate with those that I genuinely like and would recommend to people."

The social media influencer continued, adding that she continues to learn about social media practices and believes her followers “are clear about any content that is part of a commercial partnership, and that which isn't”.

Hinchliffe concluded: "In fact, I'm overly cautious when it comes to these guidelines and will continue to be."

Last year, the ASA and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published an Influencer’s Guide to advertising rules related to social media posts.

A segment from the guide reads: “Commercial relationships must be disclosed upfront, any views expressed by the influencer should be genuine and everyone involved should ensure that there are robust compliance processes in place that accurately reflect the requirements of the law."

Failure to comply with the ASA's rules can result in legal action.

In January, influencers including Zoella, Ellie Goulding and Alexa Chung committed to clearly disclosing whether they have been paid to mention a product or service, and even whether it has been gifted to them for free.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said at the time: “Influencers can have a huge impact on what their fans decide to buy. People could, quite rightly, feel misled if what they thought was a recommendation from someone they admired turns out to be a marketing ploy.”

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

In April, Hinchliffe released her book, titled Hinch Yourself Happy: All The Best Cleaning Tips To Shine Your Sink And Soothe which promises to help you transform your home with her "sparkly ways".

The book topped Amazon’s best seller within eight hours of its release, according to The Sun.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in