ASA bans ex-Love Islander’s Instagram post

Mark Johnson's picture

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned a post by ex-Love Island contestant, Olivia Buckland, because it omitted to say it was actually an advert.

Buckland, who boasts more than two million followers on her Instagram account, posted a racy pic of herself preparing her body with a bottle of Cocoa Brown tanning solution in her hand. The “CB” logo for the item was clearly visible to viewers. 

The caption on the post read: "The V-Day prep is well underway and I’m topping up my tan with my fave @cocoabrowntan by @marissacarter 1-hour tan mousse…” 

The ASA said it received a complaint that the post was not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication.

Brand claimed to have advised influencer

Cocoa Brown said they advised Olivia that #ad should be used on all future posts on Instagram. 

Olivia Buckland said that #BrandAmbassador was used on the post, in addition to her Instagram Bio. 

She provided a dictionary definition of a brand ambassador as “a person who is paid or given free products by a company in exchange for wearing or using its products and trying to encourage others to do so”. 

She believed this made clear that some of her posts were marketing communications.

However, the ASA said that whilst it noted that Ms Buckland believed that the inclusion of the term “brand ambassador” in her bio made clear that some of her posts were marketing communications, it considered that her bio was “unlikely to be seen by Instagram users at the point they were viewing individual advertising posts”.

The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear in the form complained of. 

“We told Cocoa Brown and Olivia Buckland to ensure that their ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications, for example by including a clear and prominent identifier such as #ad”, the ASA said.

The post has since been removed from the social media influencer’s Instagram page.

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