"Cleanfluencer" Mrs Hinch to be investigated by Advertising Standards
29-year-old Sophie Hinchliffe, more widely known as Mrs Hinch, is in the process of being investigated by the ASA after reports of Instagram posts promoting P&G products without full disclosure.
Following complaints about some of Hinchliffe's posts on three occasions in April, the ASA has now confirmed they are looking into it: “I can confirm that we are investigating Mrs Hinch as a result of receiving complaints in April this year around the issue of ad disclosure."
The posts in question contained Flash and Febreze, cleaning products produced by Proctor and Gamble. She became a 'brand ambassador' for P&G products in February, according to a Telegraph article.
Who is Mrs Hinch?
Mrs Hinch is one of Instagram's biggest names, posting under @mrshinchhome. Her account has 2.5 million followers, to whom she gives out cleaning tips and product recommendations. After regular endorsement (without sponsorship) of the disinfectant product Zoflora, her influence caused it to sell out across the UK, leading to its producers, Thornton & Ross, to double production.
She has also coined the term "hinching" as a stand-in for "cleaning", which has now become widely used online.
Rules state that any products displayed in social media posts must be clearly labelled as ads or gifts from a brand. Under the Consumer Rights Act, brands or individuals must not post sponsored content without disclosing it.
It has led, in the past, to the body issuing direct warnings to influencers online, handing out formal cautions in some cases.
Mrs Hinch, responding to the revelations, said: “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.
“I continue to learn a lot, but feel my community are clear about any content that is part of a commercial partnership, and that which isn’t. In fact, I’m overly cautious when it comes to these guidelines and will continue to be.”