Two complaints relating to social media posts by influencer Lorna Spaine upheld

Two complaints relating to social media posts by influencer Lorna Spaine upheld

Two complaints in relation to social media posts uploaded by influencer Lorna Spaine have been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).

Ms Spaine has 188,000 followers on Instagram and is a qualified personal trainer.

The ASAI’s latest complaints bulletin, published on Tuesday, said three out of nine advertisements recently investigated were in breach of its code while one was partly in breach.

The first complaint in relation to Ms Spaine was advertisements of Vavavoom clothing/footwear that she posted on her Instagram account.

“The complainant considered the influencer to be posting new outfits on her stories and page with discounts and links without declaring whether these were advertisements, whether she was paid, or being in a partnership with the brand. He noted that after some time these posts were edited to include Paid Partnership or #ad,” according to the ASAI.

The brand said they had informed their influencers to include hashtags like “ad” and “collab” (collaboration) for all paid content and they would ensure “nothing like this happened again”.

Ms Spaine provided a screenshot from an email to the brand regarding needing her branded content to be approved by them first to appear above her content.

“She indicated that this was due to operational challenges using the platform and once it was fixed, the banner was added above the image,” the ASAI said. “She provided images of the posts in question with ‘Paid Partnership’ displayed above each of the posts.”

The ASAI’s complaints committee upheld the complaint, stating “a clear disclosure must be given in the content prior to the content being posted”.

“The Committee noted that in this case a disclosure had been included later, however it was not clearly visible at the time the posts went live,” it said.

The second complaint similarly related to outfits from Prettylittlething. com that Ms Spaine posted on her Instagram account with discounts and links, “without declaring whether these were advertisements, whether she was paid, or being in a partnership with the brand”, the complainant said.

“He noted that after some time these posts were edited to include Paid Partnership or #ad,” the ASAI added.

The brand advised they were no longer under contract with Ms Spaine and had notified her of the complaint and “asked her to ensure that any posts in connection with the contractual agreement complied with the applicable advertising regulations”.

According to the ASAI, Ms Spaine indicated there was an operational challenge using the platform and once it was fixed, the banner was added above the image.

“She provided images of the posts in question with ‘Paid Partnership’ displayed above each of the posts,” it said.

The ASAI said as the posts had been amended in relation to both complaints, “there was no further action required”.

Orla Twomey, chief executive of the ASAI, said the latest complaints bulletin “illustrates our ability to handle complaints across a variety of platforms, and demonstrates how we ensure that ads in Ireland stick to the advertising rules”.

“The main role of advertising self-regulatory organisations (SROs), such as the ASAI, is to ensure that ads and other marketing communications are legal, truthful, decent, and honest, prepared with a sense of social responsibility to the consumer and society and with proper respect for the principles of fair competition,” she said.

“The ASAI is committed to protecting society in relation to advertising across all mediums.”

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