Ex-Geordie Shore star Marnie Simpson has Snapchat posts banned for failing to show they were ads
Two Snapchat posts by former Geordie Shore star Marnie Simpson have been banned for failing to clearly indicate that they were ads.
The posts, both on June 20, showed Simpson, from South Shields, holding a Diamond Whites tooth polish product close to her face with the text "50% off everything from Diamond Whites" and an image of her wearing grey contact lenses.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints about both snaps challenging whether they were obviously identifiable as ads.
Diamond Whites said Simpson had been the face of their brand for nearly two years and they therefore believed that her followers were aware of the relationship.
Given the length of the relationship, Diamond Whites said it did not feel that the posts required hashtags but would "look to put those in place in the future".
Unleashed PR, trading as I Spy Eyes, said Simpson did not explicitly refer to lenses or mention I Spy Eyes or the website, and therefore did not believe the snap was misleading to the consumer as the product was not available to buy.
It said Simpson had posted the snap "in excitement that she had a new colour lens coming out".
Advertising guidelines say that a post becomes an ad when the brand has control over the content of the post and rewards the "influencer" with a payment, free gift or other perk.
If the commercial aim is not clear from the overall context of the communication, it should be labelled as an ad so as not to break the rules and mislead the influencer's audience.
The ASA said it was the responsibility of I Spy Eyes and Diamond Whites to ensure that promotional activity conducted on their behalf was compliant with the rules.
It found that neither snap was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication, and both breached the Code, but welcomed their "willingness to ensure they would use '#ad' in future".
A Diamond Whites spokeswoman said: "Whilst we respect the ruling given, we are disappointed with the result as it has never been our intention to mislead Marnie's followers regarding the relationship we have with her.
"We have taken steps to ensure our adverts and promotions with all influencers meet the necessary standards."